Gunmen attack Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel

Security forces battled a group of three or four gunmen who stormed the popular western-style Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul Saturday.

Details of the attack, including information on any casualties, were unclear but the attackers appeared to have included suicide bombers, Reuters reported, citing Afghan ministry spokesman Najib Danish for the information.

It was not immediately clear if there were any fatalities.

Reuters reported that there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the 10 p.m. attack, the latest in a long series to have hit Kabul.

U.S. officials in Kabul told Fox News the hotel was on fire. No other information was available.

Local media reported “insurgents” had entered the building and were holding people hostage. TOLONews reported heavy gunfire was ongoing.

An official at the Afghan spy agency told Agence France Presse that the attackers were “shooting at guests.”

A guest hiding in his room in the hotel told AFP he could hear gunfire.

“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. “We are hiding in our rooms. I beg the security forces to rescue us as soon as possible before they reach and kill us.”

This is the second time the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul has been attacked.

In 2011, eight Taliban insurgents stormed the hotel, setting off explosions and exchanging gunfire with authorities for hours until pressure from Afghan snipers and a NATO helicopter forced three of the remaining bombers to blow themselves up.

Eleven Afghan civilians — all Intercontinental workers — were killed, along with two policemen. Thirteen others were wounded, but none of the hotel’s guests were killed.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

 

 

 

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