plosions and heavy gunfire as a 13-hour siege on a luxury hotel in Afghanistan's capital came to an end. At least 19 people were killed when gunmen dressed in army uniforms stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which later caught fire during the attack. An Interior Ministry spokesman says the siege ended on Sunday, when the last gunman was shot dead.
Security personnel were later seen waving Afghan flags from the top of the building to signal it was clear. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out by five fighters. But that number was debated by the government, who claim there were three. In scenes of chaos, more than 150 guests fled the building, some forced to shimmy down tied-together sheets from upper floor windows, as flames ripped through the hotel.
This man was inside during the attack and says the gunmen were mainly targeting foreigners.>>
> Hotel staff tell Reuters the attackers entered through a kitchen and people were trapped in their rooms as gunfire echoed through the building.>>
This comes just days after a US embassy warning of possible attacks on hotels in the area.
The Intercontinental is located on a hilltop and heavily protected, like most public buildings in the city. It was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011.