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5 Killed, 6 Injured As Siege Of Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel Ends

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 21 , 2018 , 11:00 IST

A total of 5 civilians have been killed and 6 wounded after 4 attackers took under siege the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan on Saturday night, with the more than 10-hour siege coming to an end on Sunday morning. 

The Afghanistan Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed the ended of the siege, adding that 3 of the attackers had been killed, and 126 people rescued, including 41 foreigners. 

According to reports, the 4 gunmen entered the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul through its kitchen, launching a gun battle, resulting in guests and staff fleeing for cover. The Intercontinental Hotel is one of Kabul's main sites for foreign visitors, envoys and other high-ranking guests.

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Although there has been no confirmation of casualties, security forces said to TOLOnews that 30 people have been rescued and that 2 of the attackers have been killed. A third attacker is suspected of being hidden on the 8th floor of the hotel building.

The Kabul security forces maintained a tight cordon around the hotel overnight as the special forces clashed with the gunmen. Eyewitnesses that escaped from the scene said that the gunmen randomly shot guests and staff.

An eyewitness who managed to flee from the Intercontinental Hotel through a back door claimed that at least 15 people have been killed.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban had attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in 2011 laying siege for more than 5 hours, killing 11 people.

On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul had issued a generic warning about "reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul," without specifying their source of intelligence or possible targets.