At least 10 people have been killed after a top hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, came under siege by gunmen and suicide bombers.
The BBC reports that security forces exchanged gunfire with as many as six assailants who had entered the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which is popular with Westerners and located on a hill in the west of the city.
Three suicide bombers are reported to have blown themselves up at the hotel’s front gate, second floor and at the back of the hotel, the BBC says.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
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Officials have said that senior Afghan government officials were staying at the hotel, which is heavily guarded. Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel was built in the 1960s, and is no longer formally part of the Intercontinental chain, the Guardian reports.
The attack reportedly began during dinnertime, when militants in civilian clothes burst into the hotel. Guests were told to stay in their rooms. There were no immediate reports of hotel guests injured in the siege.
Witnesses reported seeing shooting from the roof, and power to the hotel and surrounding area had been cut.
Kabul residents said they could see the blacked-out hotel lit up by explosions and red tracer bullets.
In January 2008, militants stormed Kabul's most famous luxury hotel, the Serena, and killed eight people, including an American, a Norwegian and a Philippine woman.