Egypt condemns deadly hotel attack in Afghanistan's Kabul

Pauline Gross
January 22, 2018

The Taliban, which attacked the same hotel in 2011, claimed responsibility for the attack, its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

The death toll from the deadly attack on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul climbed to 18 by late Sunday but one source said the number of dead could be as high as 43.

Security forces rushed to the scene, engaging the attackers for nearly 16 hours before hoisting a flag to declare "all clear" Sunday afternoon and killed all the attackers.

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bass also spoke out against the assault and praised the Afghan security forces for their deft response. Gunmen burst into the hotel Saturday night, opening fire on guests and staff and taking dozens of people hostage.

The last major attack on a high-end hotel in Kabul was in March 2014 when four teenage gunmen raided the Serena, killing nine people including AFP journalist Sardar Ahmad.

"The Government and the people of Pakistan convey solidarity and support with the Government and people of Afghanistan at this dastardly terrorist attack".

Three attackers were also killed in the siege, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State group has claimed most of the recent attacks in the Afghan capital, but authorities suspect that the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network has been involved in some of them.

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A four-hour operation that included North Atlantic Treaty Organization military helicopters and local Afghan forces eventually brought the hotel back into secure control.

"I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims".

US ambassador John Bass said the embassy was in close contact with Afghan authorities. "My government and the people of the United States stand with the Afghan government and people in fighting terrorism and working to bring peace and security to Afghanistan", the USA envoy said.

"Violence like what we witnessed yesterday has no place in Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world", Tillerson said. Of the people rescued, 41 were foreign nationals. One of the gunmen shouted that they didn't kill Afghans and demanded to know "Where are the foreigners?"

Shortly after 4am additional special forces were sent in.

In a village in the northern province of Balkh, Taliban militants went from house to house in the middle of the night, pulling police from their homes and shooting them dead.

By 8am five of the six stories of the hotel had been cleared.

Kabul has increased its security dramatically following a truck bomb explosion that killed at least 150 individuals and more recently, an explosion at the Shai Tabayan cultural centre that killed at least 41 and injured 80 on December 28 of a year ago.

Other reports by GizPress

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