Photos: #ISIS? Kabul hotel, Afghanistan stormed by gunmen wearing suicide vests

January 20, 2018 7:51 pm

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 (pictured), one of two main luxury resorts in the city, was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011

The incident unfolded at 9pm local time (4.30pm) with sounds of gunfire and an explosion. Flames have engulfed the fourth floor of the hotel, which sits on a hilltop and is heavily protected by security guards. Specialist forces are currently battling with the gunmen inside the building. One of the attackers has been killed, Afghan ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. Local media is reporting ‘multiple’ casualties and hotel staff and guests being taken hostage. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest in a long series to have hit Kabul. Firefighters are working to put out the blaze on the fourth floor, which has four restaurants and a swimming pool. Security forces have now cleared the first floor but are still taking on the attackers in those above.

A man who escaped the attack told Wall Street Journal reporter Ehsanullah Amiri he saw ‘four dead bodies outside the hotel’. He also claimed the men were shouting ‘Allah-u-Akbar’ and ‘throwing people from windows of upper floors’. A guest hiding in his room said he could hear gunfire. The electricity has also been cut out. He told AFP: ‘I don’t know if the attackers are inside the hotel but I can hear gunfire from somewhere near the first floor. ‘We are hiding in our rooms. I beg the security forces to rescue us as soon as possible before they reach and kill us.’ The hotel, one of two main luxury resorts in the city, was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011, killing 21 people, including 10 civilians.

Four gunmen believed to be wearing suicide vests have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital of Kabul 
The incident unfolded at 9pm local time (4.30pm) with sounds of gunfire and an explosion
Armed men are pictured outside the luxury resort as specialist forces take on the attackers inside 
Four gunmen believed to be wearing suicide vests have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel (pictured) in the Afghan capital of Kabul
Pictured: The Intercontinental Hotel was last attacked by the Taliban in 2011 
The hotel, one of two main luxury resorts in the city, was previously attacked (pictured) by Taliban fighters in 2011, killing 21 people, including 10 civilians.
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