KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital killed at the very least six individuals, together with a foreigner, and pinned safety forces down for greater than 13 hours earlier than the final attacker was killed on Sunday, with the casualty toll anticipated to rise.
The heavily-guarded luxurious hotel is in style amongst foreigners and Afghan officers. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish mentioned the six killed included a foreigner and a telecommunications official from the western Farah province who was attending a convention.
Six different individuals, together with three safety forces, had been reported wounded and greater than 150 individuals, together with 41 foreigners, had been rescued from the hotel, Danish mentioned.
The Taliban claimed the attack, which started round 9 p.m. Saturday, saying 5 gunmen armed with suicide vests focused foreigners and Afghan officers. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid mentioned the insurgents initially deliberate to attack the hotel Thursday evening however postponed the assault as a result of there was a marriage underway they usually wished to keep away from civilian casualties.
The attack unfolded nearly six years after Taliban insurgents launched an analogous assault on the property, which isn’t a part of the InterContinental chain of worldwide motels.
The Interior Ministry mentioned a non-public agency assumed duty for securing the hotel round three weeks in the past. The ministry says it’s investigating how the attackers managed to enter the constructing.
Afghan safety officers confirmed that 34 provincial officers had been gathered on the hotel to take part in a convention organized by the Telecommunication Ministry.
A hearth broke out on the hotel because the preventing raged, and the sound of explosions could possibly be heard all through the standoff. Live TV footage confirmed individuals making an attempt to flee by means of home windows on the higher tales.
Capt. Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, mentioned in a press release that Afghan forces had been main the response efforts. He mentioned that in keeping with preliminary stories, no overseas troops had been harm within the attack.
Neighboring Pakistan condemned the “brutal terrorist attack” and known as for better cooperation towards militants. Afghanistan and Pakistan routinely accuse one another of failing to fight extremists alongside their lengthy and porous border.
Afghan forces have struggled to fight the Taliban because the U.S. and NATO formally concluded their fight mission on the finish of 2014. They have additionally needed to take care of a rising Islamic State affiliate that has carried out a lot of huge assaults lately.
In the northern Balkh province, insurgents burst into a house the place a number of members of a neighborhood pro-government militia had been gathered late Saturday, main them outdoors and killing 18 of them, mentioned Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy provincial police chief. Among these killed was a tribal chief who served because the native police commander, he mentioned.
In the western Farah province, a roadside bomb killed a deputy provincial police chief and wounded 4 different police early Sunday, in keeping with Gen. Mahruf Folad, the provincial police chief.
The Taliban claimed each assaults.
In the western Herat province, a roadside bomb struck a automobile carrying 13 civilians, killing all however one in every of them, mentioned Abdul Ahad Walizada, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. No one instantly claimed the attack, however Walizada blamed Taliban insurgents, who typically plant roadside bombs to focus on Afghan safety forces.