The thing that is bothering me, if the news report are correct, is that 9 terrorists in explosive vests managed to kill only 11 people. Often one bomber manages to rack up a better body count than that. If the reports about the amount of equipment they had are correct this seems like a very ineffective attack. Did the Taliban screw up? I suspect they planned to take a bunch of hostages and hold out for days until the military moved in and the killed all the hostages.
Well, 20 killed and another 18 wounded doesn’t sound wrong for an attack on a hotel at night. In most hotels, you’ll have the guests in their rooms and the staff is usually a skeleton crew. In addition, all the other people will be sequestered in a fairly large geographical spread throughout the hotel and so unless they actually went from door to door and dragged people down to a common area, you’d get very little concentration.
Other things to take into account is that the suicide vests appear to have been shrapnel-based (from a news report on the radio, no source, sorry) so anyone not in the immediate vicinity would have been fine. And a clever guest or staffer might have tripped the panic or fire alarm, which could have engaged the fire doors and blocked the attackers’ way.
Further, there might just not have been a lot of people there. The hotel I work at has 111 rooms, but these days only 30-50% occupancy because while the tourist season is on, the business traveler season has ended. And that’s in a hotel in the capitol of a peaceful country with a thriving tourism; I’ve no idea what the travel numbers are like for Kabul in summer. (Wiki says that 60-70 guests were reported to be at the hotel, which sounds about right to me.)
20 total. Only 11 were victims. The other 9 were the terrorists. I’m only counting the undesirable fatalities.
That is exactly the point I’m trying to make. We seem to have poor target selection and scouting. They picked a high profile target, but gave no thought at all about how to maximize the effect. They would have been off getting on a bus and setting off the vest or better yet, nine different targets on different days.