One gunman killed, three remain inside Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital

One gunman killed, three remain inside Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital

One gunman killed, three remain inside Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital

The iconic 20th century hotel is located on a hill in the western Bagh-e-Bala neighborhood of the city with usually tight security around it.

Unofficial sources said that more than 15 people were killed and that several civilians were taken hostage by the assailants.

The attack comes just days after the USA embassy in Kabul issued a warning about hotels in the city, saying it was aware of planned attacks by extremist groups.

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

Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel back in 2011 after an attack by Taliban fighters.

An Afghan security forces member keeps watch near the Intercontinental Hotel following an attack in Kabul
An Afghan security forces member keeps watch near the Intercontinental Hotel following an attack in Kabul

On Thursday, the US State Department warned of a possible attack in Kabul. TOLO news journalist Gulabuddin Ghubar said that an unknown number of attackers were holed up in the kitchen and some rooms.

The attack began at about 21:00 local time (16:30 GMT), with some reports of the gunmen shooting security guards as they made their way into the five-storey building. The attackers have also reportedly set the hotel on fire.

Security at the Intercontinental, which is not part of the global InterContinental chain, is relatively lax compared with other luxury hotels in Kabul.

The attackers appeared to include suicide bombers, Mr Danish was quoted as saying by Reuters.

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