Kabul hotel attack: 14 foreigners among the dead

Update 4.19pm: At least 18 people including 14 foreigners were killed when the Taliban attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, the Interior Ministry confirmed.

Spokesman Najib Danish said 11 of the 14 foreigners killed were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline.

He added that 10 others were wounded including six security officers and four civilians.

KamAir said flights had been disrupted because of the attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which began late last night, saying five gunmen armed with suicide vests targeted foreigners and Afghan officials.

Mr Danish said the last attacker was killed this afternoon, more than 12 hours after the attack began.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents initially planned to attack the hotel on Thursday night, but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties.

Update 11.40am: Kabul hotel attack: Guests used sheets to climb down from balconies

Footage showing guests using sheets to climb down from balconies during an attack by gunmen at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul has emerged.

Six civilians, including a foreign woman, were killed in the attack along with another three attackers.

Some 160 people were rescued when Afghan troops regained control of the building this morning.

Update 10.12am: Taliban claim Kabul hotel attack; One foreign national among five killed

The Taliban has said it was behind a gun attack at a five-star hotel in the Afghan capital, in which five people were killed.

Authorities in Kabul say a 12 hour siege at the Intercontinental ended with all gunmen dead.

According to latest reports at least one of the victims is a foreign national.

Security forces stand guard near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. An Afghan official says that a group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Earlier: Afghan Special Forces end overnight siege 

Afghan Special Forces have ended an overnight siege at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel.

It appears Afghan soldiers killed the last gunman from a group of three attackers, two of whom were killed last night.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said at least five other people had been killed and six wounded, a lower casualty total than earlier feared, while 153 people, including 41 foreigners had been evacuated.

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 civilians 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 the attackers have been 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 4pm (GMT) on 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.

- Press Association and Digital Desk

 

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