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Taliban lays claim to deadly attack on Kabul hotel

Afghan security personnel are seen on the rooftop of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on January 22, 2018, following an attack on the hotel.(Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

Taliban lays claim to deadly attack on Kabul hotel

Taliban militants who killed at least 22 people at a luxury Kabul hotel went from room to room searching for foreigners, survivors and a security source said Monday as more details of the victims emerged.

Insurgents armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide vests attacked the landmark Intercontinental Hotel overlooking the Afghan capital late Saturday in an assault that lasted more than 12 hours and prompted questions over how the attackers breached security.

Guests hid behind pillars and in rooms as gunmen sprayed bullets and set fire to parts of the six-storey building. Some people climbed over balconies and used bed sheets in a desperate attempt to escape. “They were saying, ‘Kill the foreigners!’,” a 20-year-old hotel employee who gave his name as Hasibullah told AFP from his hospital bed.

He described hiding in a fifth-floor room and listening as the gunmen went from room to room, forcing doors open “with daggers” and killing those inside. Officials have said that at least 14 foreigners were killed.

“They didn’t want to kill the Afghans,” a security source told AFP. “The weapons and bullets they had were for the foreigners.” One other witness claimed he had seen the militants beheading guests. The attack ended Sunday with all six militants killed by Afghan forces, aided by Norwegian troops. (AFP)

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