KABUL - Afghan Taliban gunmen who attacked a popular lakeside hotel on the outskirts of the Afghan capital are holding several hostages, thought to include women and children, and some people have been killed, police said on Friday.

"It would be very easy for police to kill them, but we are afraid because there are civilians, including women and children, trapped inside. We are waiting for daylight," said General Mohammad Zahir, head of the Kabul police investigation unit.

"According to the information we have, they have martyred some of them," he said, meaning an unknown number of civilians had been killed.

Afghan Taliban gunmen, some armed with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, attacked the Spozhmai Hotel in Kabul's popular Qargha Lake recreation area late overnight, triggering a gunbattle in the darkness.

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