Hostage situation at Kabul's InterContinental Hotel after attack by four gunmen

Suicide attack under way at Kabul hotel

Kabul: Gunmen 'attacking Intercontinental Hotel'

At least four gunmen have launched an attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, Afghan officials say.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish was quoted by Reuters as saying that suicide bombers appear to be among the attackers, but that assertion could not be immediately verified.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Afghan media is reporting multiple casualties in the attack, which comes days after a UN Security Council delegation visited Kabul for a close-up view of the conflict.

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Afghan Special Forces arrived at the hotel in response to the attack, Danish added.

The Intercontinental Hotel, located on a hilltop and heavily protected like most public buildings in Kabul, was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011.

It is one of Kabul's two main luxury hotels and is used for events including conferences attended by government officials.

The officials told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the assailants were exchanging fire with Afghan security forces.

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A guest hiding in his room in the hotel said he could hear gunfire.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it was not known if any American citizens had been caught up in the attack.

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 an AFP journalist.

As pressure on the battlefield has increased, security officials have warned that the danger of attacks on high profile targets in Kabul and other cities would increase as insurgents sought to undermine confidence in security. "According to initial reports, no Resolute Support or (US forces) members were injured in this incident", he said in an emailed statement.

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