Gunmen storm Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital Kabul

Emilio Banks
January 21, 2018

Several people had been killed and at least six wounded in the raid, which came days after a USA embassy warning of possible attacks on hotels in Kabul, Nasrat Rahimi, an interior ministry spokesman, said.

In June 2011, seven Taliban fighters attacked the same hotel over several hours.

The fourth floor of the hotel is also on fire, the NDS said. "I don't know if the attackers are inside the hotel but I can hear gunfire from somewhere near the first floor", he said without giving his name.

Hotel manager Ahmad Haris Nayab, who managed to escape unhurt, said the attackers had got into the main part of the hotel through a kitchen and people fled amid bursts of gunfire on all sides.

Update 8.30pm: Nasrat Rahimi, a deputy spokesman for the interior ministry, confirmed that there were four attackers.

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"The operation will soon end and the attackers will be killed", interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP.

In 2014, nine people, including children, were killed during a Taliban attack on Kabul's Serena Hotel. "According to initial reports, no Resolute Support or (US forces) members were injured in this incident", he said in an emailed statement.

Saturday's attack is the second assault against the hotel.

The attack comes just two days after the U.S. Department of State issued a warning that "extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul". One was killed by Afghan security forces and three others are still battling the forces from inside the hotel, he added.

The deadliest of the recent attacks happened at a Shiite cultural centre on December 29 when a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing more than 40 people.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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