Afghanistan hotel siege ends after terrifying 12-hour Taliban raid

Afghanistan hotel siege ends after terrifying 12-hour Taliban raid
A siege on a Kabul hotel has ended, after Afghan security forces spent 12 hours battling Taliban militants to rescue staff and guests.
2 min read
21 January, 2018
Kabul's landmark Intercontinental Hotel was under attack on Saturday evening [Getty]

At least six people have been killed and many more injured after three gunmen stormed the Afghan capital's landmark Intercontinental Hotel during a night-time raid on Saturday.

The interior ministry announced Sunday that the siege on the Kabul hotel had ended, with all the Taliban besiegers killed and most of the guests and staff rescued.

"All three attackers were killed," interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told Tolo News.

He said that 153 people have been rescued, including more than 40 foreigners.

The militants opened fire on guests and staff inside the hotel during the terrifying 12-hour ordeal, officials said.

Hours after the government announced the end of the siege, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

It followed a series of security warnings in recent days to avoid hotels and other locations frequented by foreigners. 

"[Militants] killed tens of foreign invaders and their puppets," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in an emailed message.

At least one foreigner was killed in the attack.

Guests hid in their rooms as a battle between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces raged for 12 hours.

An information technology conference was due to take place at the hotel on Sunday.

The Taliban and Islamic State group have launched a series of bloody attacks on civilian and military targets over the past year.

Among the most bloody was an assault on a Shia Muslim cultural centre in the Afghan capital Kabul has left at least 40 people dead and dozens wounded.

Hotels have been frequent targets of the Taliban since the 2001 overthrow of their de-facto government in Afghanistan following a US-led invasion of the country.

The Intercontinental was targeted by militants in June 2011, when Taliban fighters stormed the hotel killing at least 12 people and with all nine attackers left dead.

Agencies contributed to this story.