Gunmen Storm Afghan Hotel 2 Days After US Warning

No word yet on casualties
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2018 2:05 PM CST
Stock image of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (Getty Images/MivPiv)

(Newser) – Guests were forced to flee as gunmen stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and opened fire Saturday night, the BBC reports. Najib Danish, spokesperson for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, tells Reuters the approximately four attackers also included suicide bombers. Afghan Special Forces responded to the attack and killed at least two gunmen, Danish says. An official with Afghanistan's spy agency says the gunmen were "shooting at guests." "We are hiding in our rooms," one guest is quoted as saying. "I beg the security forces to rescue us as soon as possible before they reach and kill us."

There are reports the Intercontinental Hotel, one of two major luxury hotels in Kabul, was hosting an IT conference at the time of the attack. There has as yet been no word on possible casualties. The AP reports no group is claiming responsibility for the attack on the hotel so far, though the Taliban previously attacked the hotel in 2011. The attack comes just two days after a warning from the US embassy in Kabul that the city's hotels could be targeted. "We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul," the embassy said in statement Thursday. (Read more Kabul stories.)

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