5 killed as gunmen battle security forces at Kabul hotel
Kabul, Afghanistan – Gunmen stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul at the start of an 11-hour siege that continued into Sunday morning, leaving at least five Afghan civilian dead, officials said.
Six other civilians were reported wounded and more than 100 people, including 16 foreigners, have been rescued from the hotel, said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.
The bodies of four attackers were recovered as security forces continued to clear the landmark building, he said.
“The security forces are going room-by-room to make sure that there is no any other attacker in the building,” he said.
No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which started around 9 p.m. Saturday. As the fighting raged, a fire erupted in the building.
Live TV footage showed people trying to escape through windows on the fourth and fifth floors.
Capt. Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in a statement that Afghan forces were leading the response efforts. He said that according to initial reports, no foreign troops were hurt in the attack.
The Intercontinental Hotel is located on a hilltop in Bagh-e Bala area of the city and is heavily guarded because it hosts both Afghan and foreign guests as well as official conferences. It was last attacked by Taliban insurgents in 2011.
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