In Hotel Siege, People Tried to Escape With Bed Sheets

At least 18 are dead after Taliban attack on Kabul hotel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 21, 2018 9:05 AM CST
Security forces stand guard near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. An Afghan official says that a group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental...   (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
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(Newser) – An Afghan official says that at least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, have been killed when the Taliban attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. Spokesman for the Interior Ministry Najib Danish said that 11 of the 14 foreigners killed were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline, reports the AP. He added that 10 others were wounded, including six security officers and four civilians. KamAir also put out an announcement saying some of its flights were disrupted because of the attack. Witnesses tell the BBC that the gunmen burst into a dining room yelling, "Where are the foreigners?" Guests were photographed attempting to escape the hotel via bed sheets tied to their balconies.

Ukraine says one of its citizens was killed in the attack. Afghan officials say insurgents' assault on the luxury hotel began late Saturday and set off clashes with security forces that lasted more than 13 hours. All the attackers were killed by security forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents initially planned to attack the hotel Thursday night but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties.

(Read more Taliban stories.)

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