Norway's foreign minister cuts short Afghan visit after hotel attack
( dpa ) - Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store was to cut short a visit to Afghanistan after a suicide attack in a luxury hotel on Monday claimed at least six lives, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday.
Stoltenberg told broadcaster NRK that Store was to have a luncheon with Afghan President Hamid Karzai before returning to Norway, dropping plans to visit Norwegian ISAF forces.
Stoltenberg said Norwegian authorities could not confirm that the attack was specifically targeted at Store but were investigating the reports.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Among the casualties was Carsten Thomassen, 38, a Norwegian reporter with Oslo daily Dagbladet who died late Monday of his injuries.
Dagbladet on Tuesday published a black front page with tributes to Thomassen.
A Norwegian Foreign Ministry employee was also injured in what was described as a suicide attack.
Stoltenberg condemned the attack, but said Norway would remain in Afghanistan as part of international efforts to contribute to "peace and stability."
Norway has around 500 troops in Afghanistan and is part of NATO operations in the country. Store had planned to announce that Oslo aimed to raise its aid to Afghanistan by 50 per cent to 142 million dollars this year.
In Stockholm, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the attack was aimed at "the international presence in Afghanistan."