Afghan forces end deadly 13 hour Kabul hotel siege

Explosions and heavy gunfire were heard as a 13-hour siege on a luxury hotel in Afghanistan's capital came to an end.

By REUTERS
January 21, 2018 15:01
1 minute read.

Afghan forces end deadly 13 hour Kabul hotel siege (REUTERS)

Afghan forces end deadly 13 hour Kabul hotel siege (REUTERS)

Gunmen dressed in army uniforms who stormed Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours in an overnight siege that left at least five people dead, officials and witnesses said on Sunday.

Explosions and heavy gunfire were heard as a 13-hour siege on a luxury hotel in Afghanistan's capital came to an end.

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At least five people were killed when gunmen dressed in army uniforms stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which later caught fire during the attack.

An Interior Ministry spokesman says the siege ended on Sunday (January 21) when the last gunman was shot dead. Security personnel were later seen waving Afghan flags from the top of the building to signal it was clear.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was carried out by five fighters, but that number was debated by the government, who claim there were three.

In scenes of chaos more than 150 guests fled the building, some forced to shimmy down tied-together sheets from upper-floor windows as flames ripped through the hotel.

A witness who was inside during the attack and said the gunmen were mainly targeting foreigners.

Hotel staff told Reuters the attackers entered the hotel through a kitchen and people were trapped in their rooms as gunfire echoed through the building.

This comes just days after a US embassy warning of possible attacks on hotels in the area.

The Intercontinental is located on a hilltop - and heavily protected - like most public buildings in the city. It was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011.


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