Gunmen target Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul

21 January, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Suicide attack under way at Kabul hotel

Four gunmen believed to be wearing suicide vests have attacked a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital of Kabul - shooting at guests and setting one of the floors on fire.

The hotel, located on a hilltop and heavily protected like most public buildings in the city, was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011. There are also reports they were "shooting at guests".

Rahimi said the first and second floors of the hotel have been secured by Afghan forces, who are now trying to clear the fourth and fifth floors.

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According to TOLOnews journalist Gulabuddin Ghubar, who is close to the scene, there are an unknown number of attackers in the hotel who are reportedly holed up in the kitchen and in some rooms.

Local media reported suicide bombers were among the assailants and some people have been taken hostage.

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

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"Security Alert for #Kabul, #Afghanistan: reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul, such as the Hotel Baron near Hamid Karzai Int'l Airport", according to an agency tweet.

While it shares the same name, the hotel in Kabul is not part of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which issued a statement in 2011 saying that "the hotel Inter-continental in Kabul is not part of IHG and has not been since 1980". In the end, all seven, along with 11 other people, were dead.

On Thursday, the United States embassy in Kabul issued a warning to American citizens, saying: "We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul".

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The Islamic State group has claimed most of the recent attacks in the Afghan capital, but authorities suspect that the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network has been involved in at least some of them.

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