Kabul hotel siege ends
Kabul, Afghanistan – 21 January 2018 –
Security forces said they had killed the last of six Taliban militants to end an overnight siege at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel – which is not part of the InterContinental chain – that left at least 18 people dead, including 14 foreigners, Associated Press reported.
Some of the 150 guests fled the gunbattle and fire sparked by the assault by shimmying down bedsheets from the upper floors.
The militants, who wore suicide vests, pinned security forces down for more than 13 hours after the attack began about 9 pm Saturday. The gunmen roamed the hallways and targeted foreigners and Afghan officials inside the luxury, hilltop hotel.
The more than 150 people who were rescued or managed to escape included 41 foreigners, said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish. Of those, 10 people were injured, including six security forces, he said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack at the heavily guarded hotel that is popular among foreigners and Afghan officials.
The attack unfolded almost six years after Taliban insurgents launched a similar assault on the property.
The Interior Ministry said it is investigating how the attackers managed to enter the building. It said a private company had taken over security about three weeks ago at the hotel.
During a news conference, Danish said that an initial investigation showed that six insurgents entered the hotel from the northern side and stormed its kitchen. A person or persons inside the hotel might have helped the attackers gain entrance, Danish said, adding that the probe is continuing.