Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
"I was in complete shock," Christina Blanco, who was in the home at the time of impact, told KABC. Officials from the Perris Valley Airport did not respond to a request for comment and a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration was not available due to the U.S. government shutdown. Perris, about 70 miles (115 km) east of Los Angeles, is also the small city where law enforcement said this month a California couple kept captive and nearly starved their 13 minor and adult children.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Conservative South Korean activists burned a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the head of the North's extremely popular girl band passed them Monday during a visit to Seoul amid a flurry of cooperation agreements between the rivals ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the South.
A Trump administration report that claimed three-quarters of those convicted of “international terrorism-related charges” were foreign born, was reportedly created without the input of Department of Homeland Security specialists and many experts believe it is misleading. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called the findings of the report “chilling”, while President Donald Trump tweeted about its findings. New report from DOJ & DHS shows that nearly 3 in 4 individuals convicted of terrorism-related charges are foreign-born.
An unemployed father of four accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park terror attack became "brainwashed" and a "ticking time bomb” obsessed with Muslims after watching a BBC drama about the Rochdale grooming scandal, a court has heard. Darren Osborne, 48, from Cardiff became convinced all Muslims were rapists and belonged to paedophile gangs after watching the hard hitting Three Girls drama, which was broadcast on BBC One last May. On June 17 last year - in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge - Mr Osborne hired a van from a firm near his home in south Wales. Two days later, at just after midnight, he allegedly ploughed into a group of Muslims who had just left a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, killing 51-year-old Makram Ali and injuring several others, some of them seriously. At the opening of his trial at Woolwich Crown Court, Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting said: “The evidence establishes that the defendant was trying to kill as many of the group as possible.” Shortly after the deadly attack, a note was found in the van, which the court was told documented his extremist views towards members of the Muslim faith and also a number of leading politicians and public figures. Darren Osborne was detained by members of the public in Finsbury Park Credit: Universal News And Sport In the note he referred to Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, as a “terrorist sympathiser” and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, as a “disgrace”. Reading from the note, Mr Rees said Mr Osborne had written: “Why are there terrorists on our streets today? We’ve had three recent terror attacks, our children spattered against the walls of concerts, part and parcel by all accounts, Mr Sadiq Khan, no it isn’t how can you let this happen, terrorists marching through our capital city, you’re a disgrace, where was the public outrage after 1400 of our white British none Muslim girls? “Where were you in Rotherham, Lily Allen, Jeremy Corbyn, nowhere to be seen." Later in the note, he wrote: "So Mr Sadiq Khan how are you this morning? I'd imagine your (sic) gonna have a hard job keeping your happy go lucky vibrant city in order, Part n parcel of living in a big city, carry on as normal, bk to ya day Jobs, what about you Jez? "Mr terrorist sympathiser, or should I call you Harold, "you dirty old man" put that in ya pipe, & have some sympathy for me, well Folkes gotta go busy day today. Remember peaceful vigils only & please dont look back in anger, God Save the Queen". Emergency services at the scene in Finsbury Park Credit: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock Mr Rees explained: “The underlying theme seems to be that the defendant felt that insufficient was being said or done to counter-terrorism and grooming gangs comprising predominantly Muslim males. “Against that background, the defendant decided to take matters into this own hands. He planned to make a public statement by killing Muslims, knowing that this handwritten note would be recovered by the authorities.” The court was told that Mr Osborne’s former partner, Sarah Andrews, described him as “unpredictable”, “a loner” and a “functioning alcoholic”. Makram Ali was described him as a 'quiet, gentle man' who 'spent his whole life without any enemies' Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA But she said she had never considered him to be a racist and had not heard him making derogatory comments about Muslims, before watching the Three Girls drama. Mr Rees told the jury: “Ms Andrews noticed that the defendant became obsessed with the subject matter of the drama. He started researching associated topics on the internet, including material featuring Tommy Robinson, the co-founder and former spokesperson for the English Defence League (EDL). “The defendant started making racist comments about all Muslims raping children and being capable of blowing people up. It appeared to her that he was becoming brainwashed. “Ms Andrews pleaded with the defendant to stop, telling him that all Muslims did not behave in this manner, but he was not interested in her views. With the benefit of hindsight, she describes him as a ticking time bomb.” Finsbury Park van attack - How it unfolded The court heard that Mr Osborne had suffered from anxiety and depression for a number of years and had not worked for around a decade. Mr Rees said he had also twice threatened to take his own life in the weeks before the attack. Analysis of Mr Osborne’s media devices showed that in the fortnight leading up to the attack they had connected to web pages which included: the far right Britain First group; Tommy Robinson; a fake video purportedly showing Muslims in London celebrating the Paris terror attacks; Jeremy Corbyn and why people should not vote for him and Sadiq Khan’s comments that part and parcel of living in a global city was being prepared for terror attacks. Mr Rees said it was clear that by Friday 16 June, Mr Osborne had “formulated his plan to drive a vehicle into a group of Muslims”, because he had inquired about hiring a Luton van. A police forensic officer examines the van used by Darren Osborne Credit: Carl Court /Getty The barrister told the jury: “This was just under three months after Khalid Masood had carried out an attack on Westminster Bridge, driving a car into pedestrians, killing four and injuring many others, before fatally stabbing PC Keith Palmer, who sought to prevent him entering the Palace of Westminster.” Mr Osborne hired the van the following day, paying £170, before spending the evening in the Hollybush Public House near his home in Cardiff. Witnesses, who described him as being drunk, later told the police they had heard him saying he wanted to write to Theresa May and Parliament, adding: “All Muslims are terrorists.” Mr Osborne was also allegedly overheard talking about a “Muslim march”, which the court was told was thought to be a reference to the Al Quds march, that was taking place in central London the following day. A man prays at the scene of the incident in Finsbury Park Credit: NEIL HALL /Reuters Later that night, he got into a conversation with a serving soldier who took exception to his racist language. Mr Rees said the defendant had said words to the effect: “I’m going to kill all the Muslims, Muslims are all terrorists. Your families are all going to be Muslim. I’m going to take it into my own hands.” He also claimed to be a soldier and when asked what regiment, allegedly replied: “You will find out tomorrow.” Mr Osborne denies one count of murder and one count of attempted murder and the trial continues.
A Russian Orthodox bishop has advised the faithful not to vote for Vladimir Putin when he stands for re-election in March, a nearly unheard of occurrence in the loyal church. The angry statement marked the first time an acting bishop has spoken against supporting the current president, according to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, but it was motivated by Mr Putin's perceived impiety rather than political differences. Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin of the epiphany cathedral in the Siberian city of Ishim wrote on his page on VK, Russia's most popular social network, that he could no longer follow his “desire to vote for Putin” following “blasphemous” remarks by the president. “'If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is your darkness!' are the words of Christ,” Mr Kurochkin wrote. “And will I go against Christ to vote for darkness or advise anyone to do this? No, no and no!” Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin The bishop was angered by comments in a state television film about Valaam, an island of monasteries and churches in Lake Ladoga where the president has a holiday home. Mr Putin had argued that the Soviet regime had “adapted” Christian ideas for its communist ideology, including in its mummification of Vladimir Lenin, whose body remains on display on Red Square. “They put Lenin in the mausoleum. How does this differ from the relics of saints for Orthodox believers or Christians in general?” Mr Putin said. “When they tell me no, there is no such tradition in Christianity, how is there not? Go and look in Athens, there are the relics of saints there, and we have the relics of saints here too.” While the Russian Orthodox church has been growing increasingly influential in recent years, it has usually been supportive of the ruling regime. This goes back to a tradition of loyalty in tsarist times, when the official ideology was “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”. Mr Putin submerges himself in an icy lake as part of a popular Orthodox ritual on Thursday Credit: Alexei Druzhinin/AFP Photo/Sputnik Mr Putin has promoted conservative values during his 18 years in power and frequently appears at religious events. On Thursday, he was photographed taking a dip in an icy lake as part of an Orthodox ritual observed by many Russians. Also on Monday, a court shut down the foundation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has sought to challenge Mr Putin for the presidency but was barred from the race. He has called for protests around Russia on Sunday. Mr Navalny has used the foundation to pay campaign workers and organise rallies. The authorities “want to transform our finely tuned electoral machine into a chaos of volunteers” by banning the foundation, Mr Navalny told The Telegraph in an interview last week. He said his campaign would devise other “partisan methods” to continue its work.
A Michigan doctor who has been living in the US for nearly 40 years has been detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The family of Lukasz Niec, who came from Poland to America when he was just five years old, are now concerned he will be deported back to Poland. Mr Niec’s sister said the family has no idea when her brother, who is currently being held at Calhoun County Jail, will be released from prison.
Israeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century since their discovery, an Israeli university has said. The more than 60 tiny fragments of parchment bearing encrypted Hebrew writing had previously been thought to come from a variety of different scrolls, a Haifa University spokesman told AFP on Sunday.
The Philippines raised the alert level at its Mayon volcano on Monday after a loud explosion in the wake of increased activity made a hazardous eruption likelier, prompting authorities to close all schools and urge residents to stay indoors. Mayon, the country's most active volcano, has been spewing ash, lava, and pyroclastic material since Jan. 13, displacing close to 40,000 residents in the central province of Albay. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised its alert on Mayon to level 4, signifying a hazardous eruption is imminent, from level 3, which warns that such an eruption could be "weeks or even days" away.
Online giant Amazon on Monday plans to open a convenience store in Seattle where hungry customers will be able to grab sandwiches and go, without having to wait in line or use a checkout. The American group unveiled the concept for its cashierless "Amazon Go" shop just over a year ago, saying the 1,800 square feet (170 square meters) store would initially offer grocery products to its own employees before being opened to the public.
The spill from a sunken Iranian tanker off China's east coast has more than trebled in size, just over a week after the ship sank in a ball of flames. Authorities spotted three oil slicks with a total surface area of 332 square kilometres (128 square miles), compared to 101 square kilometres reported on Wednesday, the State Oceanic Administration said in a statement late Sunday. The Sanchi, which was carrying 111,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, collided with Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter the CF Crystal in early January, setting off a desperate race by authorities to search for survivors and stave off a massive environmental catastrophe.
Nick Foles tossed three touchdown passes, and the Philadelphia Eaglesscored 38 unanswered points as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. LeGarrette Blount rushed for a touchdown, the Philadelphia defense forced two turnovers, and the Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004-05 season, when they lost to the New England Patriots.
China's top newspaper, decrying Washington as a trouble-maker, said on Monday U.S. moves in the South China Sea like last week's freedom of navigation operation will only cause China to strengthen its deployments in the disputed waterway. China's foreign ministry said the USS Hopper, a destroyer, came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan island, which is better known as the Scarborough Shoal and is subject to a rival claim by the Philippines, a historic ally of the United States. It was the latest U.S. naval operation challenging extensive Chinese claims in the South China Sea and came even as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Security forces said Sunday they had killed the last of six Taliban militants to end an overnight siege at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel that left at least 18 people dead, including 14 foreigners. Some of the 150 guests fled the gunbattle and fire sparked by the assault by shimmying down bedsheets from the upper floors.
Republicans passed a bill over the objections of the American people that, in many cases, was designed to hurt their own constituents. Last month, weeks before signing into law the most sweeping changes to corporate and individual tax rates in decades, President Trump promised the tax bill would help Republicans politically. “I think people see that and they’re seeing it more and more, and the more they learn about [the tax bill], the more popular it becomes,” he told reporters.
Attackers on Monday killed a Rohingya representative in a Bangladesh refugee camp, the second such death in three days as tensions mount over the planned repatriation of some 750,000 refugees to Myanmar. Sources said the dead man Yusuf Ali was a camp leader at the Balukhali camp on the border with Myanmar. Mohammad Yusuf, a leader in the neighbouring Thaingkhali camp, was shot dead last Friday.
There were more than 25,000 murders across drug-ravaged Mexico in 2017, the highest annual tally since modern records began, government data showed. Investigators opened 25,339 murder probes last year, up nearly 25 percent from the 2016 tally, interior ministry data released on Saturday showed. Mexico has struggled with years of violence as the government has battled vicious drug cartels that have increasingly splintered into smaller, more bloodthirsty, gangs.
Taliban militants who killed at least 22 people at a luxury Kabul hotel went from room to room searching for foreigners, survivors and a security source said Monday as more details of the victims emerged. Insurgents armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide vests attacked the landmark Intercontinental Hotel overlooking the Afghan capital late Saturday in an assault that lasted more than 12 hours and prompted questions over how the attackers breached security. Officials have said that at least 14 foreigners were killed.
Picture a Palestinian leader in the twilight of his reign. Besieged on all sides and challenged by younger upstarts, he lashes out against Israel, his Arab brethren, and the United States. Other Palestinian officials jockey to replace him, convinced he’s past his prime. This is how it ended for Yasser Arafat, whose insistence on waging the second intifada left him isolated in the final years of his rule. It may well be how it ends for Mahmoud Abbas.
Former Texan neighbours of David and Louise Turpin, the American couple whose 13 children were discovered chained and malnourished last week, have described a previous home littered with faeces, dead animals and a makeshift classroom. Ricky Vinyard, a tree feller from Rio Vista also told how one Christmas eight bikes arrived but remained untouched outside until they bleached in the sun. And that one of the daughters once ran away from home, only to be returned to her parents by another local resident. “It was waist-deep in filth. There were dead dogs and cats in there,” he told the Los Angeles Times. He described how he found two Chihuahuas that had survived by eating waste from a mound of soiled nappies in a trailer behind the property where the children slept. “There were no beds, just mattresses." Inside the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home he said that: "There wasn’t a place that wasn’t filthy. “Everything had locks on it: the closet had locks, the toy chest, the refrigerator.” The Turpin parents have pleaded not guilty to charges of turture Credit: Damian Dovarganes/ Damian Dovarganes Source: AP The couple, David 56 and Louise, 49, claimed to home-school their children, and the faeces-littered living room included eight small desks, a chalkboard, alphabet and number signs stapled to the wall. The family lived in the rural neighbourhood, south of Dallas with eight children from approximately 2000 to 2004 before they abandoned the property and moved to Perris in California. There, last week, both were each charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, the abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment relating to the children aged from two to 29. They pleaded not guilty to all counts and are being held in custody on $9 million bail each. (£6.5m) David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child by force. If convicted, they face up to 94 years to life in prison. Facebook photos showed the family visited Las Vegas and Disneyland The new revelations came as a California politician began drafting legislation to give greater oversight of home-schooled children, in a bid to prevent a repeat of the horrors. Jose Medina told The Telegraph: “What happened in the city of Perris was tragic, and it was horrific. And I would like to try to do everything I can to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.” The Turpins' 13 children, aged between two and 29, had all, except the eldest, been exclusively home-schooled - meaning that, under California law, there was no outside contact. “One of the reasons this went undetected was because the parents could keep the children hidden from the public,” said Mr Medina. “So I’m looking at what the state can do, so that kids can no longer be kept in captivity.”Two million children in the US are home-schooled, representing three per cent of all American youngsters, according to the Mike Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). The trend began in the 1970s, he told The Telegraph, but has increased in recent years. By contrast, in the UK only 30,000 children were educated at home in the 2016/17 academic year, out of over eight million.
As the morning sun beat down on a small training stadium in Monrovia,the capital of Liberia, a steady trickle of black SUVs with tinted windows appeared in the heavy humid heat, meandering between the stands and the pitch before coming to a halt in precision formation. George Weah, the former World Footballer of the Year and president-elect, had already alighted in his bright red football kit. Then out stepped his team, the Weah All Stars, streaming onto the pitch to play their final game before the former AC Milan star's long-awaited inauguration. The invite-only match against the Armed Forces of Liberia, packed with diplomatic corp and press, was a relatively muted affair in comparison to the campaign trail, which attract the kinds of die-hard supporters who propelled the country's biggest star to power. Standing outside the gates of the ground, clinging to a Liberian flag, a ticketless Benjamin Karr, in his 20s, gave a taste of the kind of adoration and hope that has propped up the former footballer so far. “He’s going to bring healthcare, good education and infrastructure and development and we need it to come for our youth to work. He will do that because he loves the country and he loves the people,” he told The Telegraph. On the streets of the capital, Liberia is still in thrall of its superstar president-elect, voted in three weeks ago and due to finally be inaugurated on Monday in the first democratic transfer of power in the country since 1944. The party has continued since George Weah was elected president at the end of December Credit: THIERRY GOUEGNON/ REUTERS Flag-sellers still line the streets as optimism runs high and Weah’s party’s headquarters have been a riot of colour and noise, more akin to a festival than a political base, for months. But behind the jubilation that a national icon is taking over, there are reasons to be cautious: Weah, 51, faces a tanking economy, a fraught coalition tarnished by the country’s dark history, and an increasingly sceptical press to whom he has given almost nothing away. For a man who has given his fair share of interviews since becoming the only African ever to have won the coveted Ballon d’Or football award and FIFA World Player of the Year, he has become surprisingly elusive. Journalists from around the world have arrived for the inauguration party and left with nothing - with the BBC, no less, among those to suffer abrupt cancellations from Weah's office. In rare but short comments to the gathering press pack before the game on Saturday, Weah remained tight-lipped: “I believe that with the help of the Liberian people I will be successful,” he declared, before taking his place up front. Some believe his phobia of the media could well be a fear of making statements that he finds himself unable to deliver on, leading to unwanted repercussions at home. George Weah faces trouble with his coalition, the economy and his political inexperince Credit: THIERRY GOUEGNON/ REUTERS He is inheriting an economy that has suffered from shocks caused by a slump in global iron ore and rubber prices as well as the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15 which saw the death of over 4,000 Liberians. The Liberian dollar is depreciating rapidly in value against its US counterpart, which the country also uses, meaning life is getting increasingly expensive and the poorest are hardest hit. And this is where Weah’s popularity is most concentrated. Supporters are convinced that he will bring jobs and reduce the cost of rice, the staple food, by half. Quite how he will bring about the desired changes is unclear. In The Telegraph’s many failed attempts to pin down Weah for an interview, one source within his camp said: “We have a strategy and we have tactics, and one of our tactics is to tell no one our strategy.” Another reason for Weah’s elusiveness could be a lack of confidence in his own leadership abilities. Unlike Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former World Bank economist and the first elected female head of state in Africa, who defeated Weah on two previous occasions before stepping down, he is not considered an intellectual. Nor is he a gifted orator, by his own admission, and close friends were surprised when he stated his intention to run for the presidency in 2005 - feeding the theory that he has been propelled to the top by others keen to profit from his poster-boy popularity is strong in certain camps. But perhaps the most immediate issue as Weah looks to name his cabinet on Monday, is the fragile coalition agreement that is unlikely to be a happy marriage. Weah’s own Congress for Democratic Change is joined by vice president Jewel Howard-Taylor’s National Patriotic Party, founded by her ex-husband Charles Taylor, who served as president from 1997 to 2003 after leading a rebellion against the government of Samuel Doe. Taylor is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in HMP Frankland in County Durham for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone. No one has ever faced trial for the atrocities committed during Liberia’s own civil war which ended in 2003, and reconciliation is a word on the lips of many. The Liberia People Democratic Party is the third partner in the coalition and headed by the former House of Representatives speaker, Alex Tyler, who is implicated in an ongoing bribery case involving British company Sable Mining. 15 curious things you didn't know about Liberia Whatever the outcome, Weah’s presidency is an anomaly in Liberia’s chequered history, not just because of his celebrity status. Politics in the country has traditionally been dominated by the minority Americo-Liberian elite who are descended from freed American slaves. Weah’s humble beginnings combined with his native ancestry could not be further from the norm. “He represents those who are down the drain. He’s their role model, and we have to let the people’s voice be heard,” one Monrovia resident Renee Murray told The Telegraph. Christian Grant, another one of the thousands of fanatical young Weah supporters, is also optimistic. “I think there will be a brand new Liberia and that’s our dream,” he said. “Things will improve and children will go to school. Job facility will flow. That’s what we expect our president to do and we know that he will do more than that for us.”
President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday condemned Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia in the northern Syrian region of Afrin, saying it was part of Ankara's support for extremist groups. Turkey and allied Syrian rebels entered the Afrin region on Sunday, a day after launching their offensive against the Kurdish-controlled area. "The brutal Turkish aggression on the Syrian town of Afrin cannot be separated from the Turkish regime's policy from the first day of Syria's crisis, which was essentially built on supporting terrorism and terrorist organisations, whatever their names," Assad said in statements carried by state news agency SANA.
At least 19 people were killed during a 13 hour siege after Taliban gunmen in army uniforms stormed a luxury Kabul hotel popular with Afghan officials and foreigners. Eyewitnesses described how the gunmen deliberately targeted foreigners as they rampaged through the six-floor Intercontinental Hotel. One Afghan man told the BBC that he was spared by militants who shouted "Where are the foreigners?" as they ran into the hotel's restaurant at around 9pm local time on Saturday night. At least 14 of the dead were believed to be foreign nationals, among them two Venezuelans and six Ukrainians. The gun battle ended on Sunday morning as Afghan special forces killed the last of the six gunmen, who were armed with grenades, automatic weapons and suicide vests. By 10am, Special Forces could be seen sweeping the roof of the hotel as firefighters attempted to extinguish a blaze which had ripped through the sixth floor. Thick clouds of black smoke could be seen pouring from the building, an imposing 1960s structure set on a hilltop. Afghan security personnel stand guard as black smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul Credit: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul Some 150 desperate staff and guests managed to escape the building throughout the night, amid heavy gunfire and explosions. One witness told AFP that the hotel's security team fled "without a fight". Dramatic footage showed people clambering down from upper-floor balconies using bedsheets tied together. Telecoms executive Aziz Tayeb posted a desperate plea on Facebook from a hiding place behind a pillar as attackers sprayed guests and staff with bullets: "Pray for me. I may die." Mr Tayeb was at the hotel for a major IT conference set to take place yesterday. The Intercontinental hotel in Kabul is under siege from gunmen. Credit: Reuters Abdul Rahman Naseri, also at the hotel for the conference, described how he saw four gunmen dressed in army uniforms. "They were shouting in Pashto, 'Don't leave any of them alive, good or bad'. 'Shoot and kill them all,’ one of them shouted," Mr Naseri said. "I ran to my room on the second floor. I opened the window and tried to get out using a tree but the branch broke and I fell to the ground. I hurt my back and broke a leg." The attackers are believed to have got into the hotel via the kitchen, and a worker in the restaurant said the men had sat down and ordered food, before opening fire. A man tries to escape from a balcony at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel during an attack by gunmen Credit: Reuters "They were wearing very stylish clothes," the man, named as Haseeb, told Tolo News. "They came to me and asked for food. I served them the food and they thanked me and took their seats. Then they took out their weapons and started shooting the people." A senior security official said that the attackers had moved directly from the first floor to the fourth and fifth floors, suggesting the attack had been carefully prepared, possibly with inside help. An Afghan policeman keeps watch near the site of an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit: REUTERS "When the sixth floor caught fire this morning, my roommate told me, either burn or escape," said Mohammad Musa, who was hiding in his room on the top floor. "I got a bed sheet and tied it to the balcony. I tried to come down but I was heavy and my arms were not strong enough. I fell down and injured my shoulder and leg.""There were dozens of dead bodies lying around me." The Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul was previously targeted in 2011. Credit: Reuters Wahid Majroh, a spokesman for the ministry of public health, last night said 19 bodies had been brought into the city's hospitals, but a senior Afghan security official said the death toll was over 30 and might climb higher. At least 11 of the dead worked for private Afghan airline Kam Air, which on Sunday suspended domestic flights. It said a further 14 emloyees were still missing. A security personnel points his weapon near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit: Massoud Hossaini Also among the dead was Dr Abdullah Waheed Poyan, a well-respected academic who had worked for the Afghan diplomatic corps. Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danesh said a private company had taken over responsibility for security at the hotel three weeks ago and there would be an investigation into possible failings, just days after a US embassy warning of possible attacks on hotels in Kabul. Afghan security forces arrive the site of an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit: REUTERS The raid was the latest in a series of attacks that have underlined the city's vulnerability and the ability of militants to mount high-profile operations aimed at undermining confidence in the Western-backed government. The Taliban, which attacked the same hotel in 2011, claimed responsibility for the attack, its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.