An Afghan soldier aims his gun as he guards the area surrounding the Intercontinental hotel during a military operation against Taliban militants that stormed the hotel in Kabul on June 29, 2011.
Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:33AM GMT
At least four people have been killed and a number of others are taken hostage in a Taliban militants' attack on a hotel in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The militants were armed with RPGs and heavy machineguns when they attacked the hotel at a popular Kabul recreation area near the Qargha Lake.
Mohammad Zahir, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Kabul police, said the assault began around 11:30 pm (1900 GMT) Thursday, when the armed assailants stormed a gathering at the Spozhmai Hotel.
The police official added at least one of the assailants detonated his explosive vest and they took most of the guests hostage.
Reports said explosions and automatic gunfire as well as two US-led NATO helicopters overhead are heard in the area.
According to police, Afghan forces launched an operation to end the militant strike around 5:30 am (0100 GMT).
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed in a text message that the militants had stormed two hotels used by foreigners killing 25 of them as well as 14 "high-profile" Afghans.
However the reports said that only one hotel was attacked.
The assault comes two days after 21 people were killed in a bomb blast after an assailant riding a motorbike attacked a joint Afghan-NATO convey passing through Afghanistan’s eastern city of Khost.
Another bomb explosion on Wednesday left at least eight Afghan women and children dead in the Logar Province.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday that militant attacks on the security forces have been increased in the war-torn country in the recent months.
Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of about 130,000 US-led forces in the war-torn country.