The Intercontinental Hotel siege in Kabul came to an end on Sunday after all the gunmen were killed, reported Reuters. At least 18 people were killed when unidentified assailants stormed the hotel, shooting at guests, staff and setting the building on fire. A fierce gunfight had followed between gunmen and security forces. Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish said the hotel came under attack at around 9 pm local time. He also added that Afghan Special Forces arrived at the hotel in response to the attack.
Kabul attack hghlights
07:40 pm: Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry states four Afghans and 14 foreigners were killed in the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel siege. (Reports AP)
11:10 am: Hotel siege ends, all gunmen neutralised, says Afghan govt.
10:11 am: There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest in a long series of attacks which have underlined the city’s precarious situation and the ability of militants to mount high profile operations aimed at undermining confidence in the Western-backed government.
10:00 am: Danish said 16 foreigners had been rescued but it was not clear what their nationality was.
9:40 am: Afghan security forces were still trying to clear the landmark hilltop hotel with at least one attacker on the loose, a security source told AFP.
9:30 am: At least five dead in Kabul hotel attack, 100 hostages rescued, Afghan spy agency told AFP.
8:30 am: US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it was not known if any American citizens had been caught up in the attack.
8:10 pm: Rahimi said the attackers were armed with small weapons and rocket-propelled grenades when they stormed the hotel, which is a popular venue for weddings, conferences and political gatherings.
8.00 am: The Intercontinental Hotel was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011. Located on a hilltop, the hotel is heavily protected like most public buildings in Kabul.
حملۀ مهاجمان مسلح بر هوتل انترکانتیننتال در کابل، هنوز هم ادامه دارد و نیروهای ویژه به محل رویداد رسیدهاند. امبولانسها در محل نیز دیده میشوند. pic.twitter.com/3GCNYAtAip
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) January 21, 2018
Intercontinental Hotel is also one of two main luxury hotels in the city and had been due to host an information technology conference on Sunday. More than 100 IT managers and engineers were on site when the attack took place, Ahmad Waheed, an official at the telecommunications ministry, told Reuters.
7.45 am: According to one witness, who did not want to be named, the attackers took some hotel staff and guests hostage. He said some foreigners were among the hotel guests but it was not clear what their nationality was.
7.30 am: The attack came days after US embassy warned of possible attacks on hotels in Kabul. Officials gave no other details on casualty numbers.
7.15 am: Reuters reported that the building also caught fire. Hotel manager Ahmad Haris Nayab, who escaped unhurt, said the attackers had got into the main part of the hotel through a kitchen and people tried to get out amid bursts of gunfire.
(With AP and Reuters)