kabul hotel reopens after deadly attack but guests stay away - clear pet plastic sheets
The piano notes of Richard kleidmann's Romeo and Juliet accompany Taliban gunmen, who ride the golden mirror elevator to the upper floors of a luxury hotel in Kabul, looking for murderous guests.
The heavily armed militants stopped on almost every floor of the Interstate hotel and they walked from room to room, detonated the electronic door lock within a few hours and shot frightened guests --
Long-standing attacks in January 20
At least 25 people, including 15 foreigners, were killed.
Nearly seven weeks later, Agence France-Presse was allowed to inspect the still severely damaged hilltop hotel, which overlooks the Afghan capital and partially opens its doors to the cautious public.
After repairing the ground floor, workers rode up and down the landmark hotel's luxury elevator, stripping and rebuilding the upper four floors, which were also shot down, bombed and lit in raids.
Rohullah Nawab, sales and marketing manager, said the soothing piano music in the elevator was also played that night, in a chilling contrast to the destruction in the corridors and rooms
The smell of smoke pervades the upper layer of the bullet
Mirror with a lot of holes, blackening walls, broken door locks and burning carpets serve as a grim reminder 15-hour ordeal.
When workers paint walls, change wires and install new doors and windows, transparent plastic sheets cover furniture stacked in some rooms.
Nawab estimates that it will take about 5 months and about 40 million Afghans (Nearly $600,000)
Restore government-owned hotel --
Not part of the global interstate chain--
For the glory of the past
However, it may take longer to repair its reputation.
On the night of the attack, 173 guests checked in 200-
Nawab is talking about guest rooms.
Since then, there is no single room on the first floor. -
The only one who was not damaged in the attack. -
It has been retained for nearly a few weeks since it was reopened. The ground-
Armed elements pretending to be guests opened fire on diners, the floor restaurant has been repaired, and every trace of the bloody incident has been erased.
But lunch buffet-
Hot salad and silver plate-
When the AFP reporter visited, no one answered, and Nawab said only a few people have dared to eat there since the attack. -
Nawab said the hotel's revenues have been destroyed, down from more than 1 million Afghans per day to about 50,000 Afghans, with several wedding parties and official functions helping.
But Nawab believes the hotel will remain open.
This is a hotel with a long history.
"The government will never shut it down," he said . ".
To attract people back, IHG, which opened in the 1960 s, launched a publicity campaign on Afghan television to promote its history and offer up to 50% off food, rooms and activities.
"It takes a lot of time to restore the business.
"It shocked foreign communities," Nawab said . ".
Officials remained silent about how the attack took place.
The Ministry of the Interior submitted an investigation report to President Ashraf Ghani but did not publicly announce it.
About a dozen hotels and security guards were detained amid speculation that the Taliban might get internal help.
Last month, the deputy security chief told AFP that the guards were ordered to pass a car before the deadly attack and were later found carrying militants and explosives.
Prior to the attack, hotel visitors reported lax safety-
Nothing seems to change.
When AFP visited this week,
People with Kabul Balkh Safety & Security are still stationed at vehicle checkpoints on the road to the hotel, the only baggage scanner is still not working and there are no armed guards in the hotel.
Rohullah told AFP that the hotel is awaiting advice from the Afghan spy agency National Security Agency on security upgrades.
Memories of the attack are still fresh in the minds of employees returning to work weeks after the raid.
Two waiters who jumped off the fourth floor are still in the hospital, Nawab said, and he himself narrowly avoided being caught by the shooting in the restaurant.
"It's hard, but what should we do? " Nawab said.