Afghan Officials: Kabul Hotel Attack Over

Posted June 28th, 2011 at 7:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan officials say all of the insurgents who stormed a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, late Tuesday have been killed and the siege is over.

Early reports said about 10 people were killed, but there is no confirmed casualty figures for hotel guests or security personnel.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sidiq Sidiqqi says the operation has ended and that lights at the Intercontinental Hotel are back on.

A spokesman for the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan said earlier two of its helicopters fired on the roof of the hotel where three militants had taken up positions, successfully eliminating them.

The drama began late Tuesday, after at least six suicide bombers attacked the hotel frequented by foreigners. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the group was targeting foreign guests.

The head of the Kabul police crime unit, Mohammad Zahir, said several police officers were wounded in the fighting with the assailants, while witnesses reported at least three loud explosions and gunfire inside and outside the hotel.

The attack occurred on the eve of a conference about the gradual transition of civil and military responsibility from foreign forces to Afghans.

In other violence Tuesday, NATO said three of its service members died in separate insurgent and bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan.

Also in the south, authorities said a roadside bomb killed two women and wounded a child in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province.