Gunmen attack int'l hotel in Kabul

Kalerkantho Online   

21 January, 2018 08:29 AM

Gunmen attack int'l hotel in Kabul

Afghan security forces have taken up positions around the hotel: Reuters

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At least four gunmen have launched an attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, Afghan officials say.

Special forces killed two of the attackers, an interior ministry spokesman said, and are trying to get to the others.

The gunmen stormed the hotel on Saturday evening, shooting at guests and detonating grenades, reports BBC.

At least five people have been injured, officials said. It is not clear how many have been killed.

The attack began at about 21:00 local time (16:30 GMT), with reports suggesting the gunmen shot at security guards as they made their way into the five-storey building.

They targeted staff and guests before special forces were called in.

Security forces then cleared the ground floor of the luxury hotel but the attackers are still on the floors above, spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told the BBC.

Some reports said the hotel had been hosting an IT conference attended by provincial officials at the time. One witness told Reuters news agency that the attackers had taken hostages.

The attack comes just days after the US embassy in Kabul issued a warning about hotels in the city.

"We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul," the embassy wrote in a public security alert published Thursday, though it highlighted another hotel near the international airport as a possible target.

"These groups may also be targeting public gatherings/demonstrations, government facilities, transportation, markets, and places where foreigners are known to congregate."