Multiple casualties as gunmen hit Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel
Multiple casualties as gunmen hit Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel
Hostage situation reported at the hotel
21 January, 2018, 01:32
Armed insurgents stormed Kabul's largest hotel Saturday, setting off an explosion and sparking a fire, trapping an unknown number of hotel guests inside, Afghan officials confirmed. The Ministry also said that some people were held hostages in the hotel.
"They are now on the third and fourth floors fighting with our forces".
Sources claimed that the hotel witnessed heavy gunfire. "I don't know if the attackers are inside the hotel but I can hear gunfire from somewhere near the first floor", he said without giving his name. Seven people died in that assault, when several gunmen and suicide bombers, three of which detonated their devices, attacked the facility.
More than 100 IT managers and engineers were on site when the attack occurred, Ahmad Waheed, an official at the telecommunications ministry, said.
The last major attack on a high-end hotel in Kabul was in March 2014 when four teenage gunmen raided the Serena, killing nine people including an AFP journalist.
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Nasrat Rahimi, a deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed that there were four attackers. "According to initial reports, no Resolute Support or (US forces) members were injured in this incident", he said in an emailed statement.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it was not known if any American citizens had been caught up in the attack. No group has yet claimed that attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the latest in a long series of attacks in Kabul underlined once more the precarious situation in the Afghan capital, where hundreds of civilians were killed previous year despite ever increasing security measures.
The attackers appeared to include suicide bombers, Mr Danish was quoted as saying by Reuters.
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