Afghan forces end Intercontinental Hotel siege

Afghan security personnel stand guard as black smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Picture; AP
Afghan security personnel stand guard as black smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Picture; AP
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Gunmen stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul at the start of an 11-hour siege that continued into Sunday morning, leaving at least five Afghan civilians dead, officials said.

Six other civilians were reported wounded and more than 100 people, including 16 foreigners, have been rescued from the hotel, said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.

U.S. forces' vehicle arrives s smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan,

U.S. forces' vehicle arrives s smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan,

The bodies of four attackers were recovered as security forces continued to clear the landmark building, he said.

“The security forces are going room-by-room to make sure that there is no any other attacker in the building,” he said.

As the fighting raged, a fire erupted in the building.

Live TV footage showed people trying to escape through windows on the fourth and fifth floors.

Capt Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in a statement that Afghan forces were leading the response efforts. He said that according to initial reports, no foreign troops were hurt in the attack.

The Intercontinental Hotel is located on a hilltop in Bagh-e Bala area of the city and is heavily guarded because it hosts both Afghan and foreign guests as well as official conferences. It was last attacked by Taliban insurgents in 2011.

An Afghan official says insurgents have killed 18 members of a pro-government militia in northern Afghanistan, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy police chief of Balkh province, says the insurgents burst into a home where several members of the Local Uprising Forces were gathered late Saturday. He says the attackers led them outside and shot them dead. One of those killed was a tribal elder who served as the local police commander.

The Local Uprising Forces operate under the Interior Ministry.

Gen. Mahruf Folad, the police chief of the western Farah province, meanwhile said a roadside bomb killed a deputy police chief and wounded four other police early Sunday.

In the northern Balkh province, insurgents burst into a home where several members of a local pro-government militia were gathered late Saturday, leading them outside and killing 18 of them, said Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy provincial police chief. Among those killed was a tribal leader who served as the local police commander, he said.

The Taliban claimed both attacks.