Siege of Hotel Intercontinental Kabul, Afghan Capital is ended by Afghan Special Forces after a long hours of gun battle since yesterday’s night cased heavy casualties among hotel guests, officials said today.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw more than 150 guests flee as parts of the building caught fire, with some shimmying down tied-together sheets from upper-floor windows and others rescued by Afghan forces.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danesh said at least five people – four Afghans and one foreigner – were killed and six wounded but the casualty total is almost certainly higher.
Local airline Kam Air said around 40 of its pilots and air crew, many of whom are foreigners, were staying in the hotel and as many as 10 had been killed. But Zamari Kamgar, the airline’s deputy director said it was still trying to locate its staff and did not yet know whether they were all safe.
It is unclear exactly how many gunmen were involved and even after officials said the attack was over, sporadic gunshots and explosions could be heard from the site. Danish said three gunmen were killed, while witnesses said four were involved and the Taliban said five.