Taliban's Day Care Center Attack Fails — Because It's Actually An American Contractor's Compound

On Friday, five heavily-armed members of the Taliban attempted to attack a day care center in Kabul, Afghanistan. However, they accidentally went into the building next door, which belonged to an American contracting group. As the occupants of the day care next door were evacuated, a four-hour firefight ensued, during which all five of the would-be assailants were killed.

The Taliban members first set off a suicide bomb outside, which blew open the gate that enclosed both the contractor’s compound and the day care center. However, they then headed towards the wrong building, which served as a guest house for employees of the agricultural contracting group Roots for Peace. There were several armed guards on the premises, and while they held off the assailants, the occupants of the guest house took shelter upstairs — and stayed there for hours while the guards, joined by Afghan police, exchanged fire with the Taliban members.

The Taliban was apparently under the impression that day care center was a church. It wasn’t — churches are forbidden in Afghanistan — but it is Christian-run and has “religious services” on certain days, according to the president of the Roots for Peace. According to Afghanistan’s Deputy Interior Minister, two dozen foreigners were evacuated from the building, which is popular among expatriates in the country.

While the attack could have been much worse, there were two civilian casualties — including a 10-year-old Afghan girl who was playing in the street outside. It’s unclear how she was killed, though it could have been by the bomb the Taliban set off prior to storming the complex.