Ambassador Ludin disclaims headline statement in Aftenposten
H.E. Ambassador Jawed Ludin issues correction to Aftenposten's story regarding the attack on Serena Hotel. Read his press statement below.
The headline statement attributed to me in today's Aftenposten ("Ventet angrep på Serena Hotel") is not a correct reflection of what I said to the newspaper in an interview the previous day. I did not in any part of my interview with Aftenposten say, whether directly or implicitly, that I expected the Kabul Serena Hotel to be attacked by terrorists.
I did say, in response to one of the questions, that it was correct that the Serena Hotel represented one of the symbols of progress in Afghanistan and that the terrorists would be ready to attack such a symbol if they could. However, I have made it clear in my statements that the security threat level against Serena Hotel and in Kabul in general was not greater than usual. I also said clearly that Serena was one of the best protected premises in Kabul and enjoyed many defense and protection features that not many other premises in Kabul have, including bomb proof basements, bulletproof windows and a higher concentration of police force in the vicinity.
I also stated that a similar terrorist attack against any other building could have resulted in a far higher level of destruction and casualty rate. Therefore, I reiterated that Serena was clearly the best place to stay for the visiting Norwegian delegation. I also clarified that, from what has been established in the investigation so far, there is no evidence that the terrorists were aware of the visit of Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
I request that the distinguished newspaper make the necessary corrections to their reporting in its next edition.
Ambassador Jawed Ludin
Embassy of Afghanistan, Oslo
Accredited to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland