12-hour Afghan hotel siege ends with 22 dead

Security forces near the Intercontinental Hotel after the attack. (CNN Photo)

KABUL, Afhanistan (CNN) — Gunmen raided the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul over the weekend, killing 18 people during a 12-hour standoff with security forces that ended Sunday afternoon, Afghan authorities said.

Four gunmen were also killed by Afghan security forces responding to the attack, according to Najib Danish, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.

Of the 18 innocent people killed, 14 were foreign nationals and four were Afghans, he said.

Nasrat Rahimi, a deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, had said earlier that foreigners were among the dead, but did not provide details on the nationalities of the victims. Seven Afghans were wounded, he said.

Afghan security forces went on every floor of the six-story hotel in a clearing operation, said Danish.

He said four attackers were involved, but the Taliban released a statement claiming responsibility and saying it was carried out by five assailants.

The attackers were affiliated with the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, according to the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said that 153 people — including 41 foreigners — were rescued from the hotel.

After the Interior Ministry declared the siege over, TOLO news channel reported that two attackers were still inside the hotel and gunshots were still ringing.

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