Arne Strand, a researcher specializing in Afghanistan for the Chr Michelsens Institutt (CMI) in Bergen, was reported to be in relatively stable condition at a hospital in Kabul after being caught in a terrorist attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul over the weekend.
Strand, an assistant director of CMI, was on what the institute described as a “routine” two-week trip to Afghanistan and staying at the hotel when several armed men carrying grenades stormed in Saturday evening. At least 18 people were killed in the attack.
Norway’s foreign ministry reported Sunday morning that a Norwegian was among those at the hotel but his condition was unclear. CMI’s director told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Sunday evening that Strand’s condition was critical, but it was no longer life-threatening Monday morning.
It remained unclear when he could be transported home. The attack went on for fully 17 hours before Afghan troops, with assistance from Norwegian soldiers who’d help train them, gained control over the hotel. No Norwegian soldiers were injured in the attack, for which the Taliban took responsibility.
CMI is billed as the largest center for development research in Scandinavia.