On Saturday night in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Intercontinental — one of the country’s most famous hotels for foreigners and VIPs — came under attack.
The details of the attack are somewhat unclear at this time, but here’s what we know.
TOLOnews, Afghanistan’s most watched network, first broke the story. There are reports of heavy gunfire inside the building in addition to the attackers taking hostages. The attackers have also reportedly set the hotel on fire.
#Intercontinental hotel in #Kabul under attack, claims are that terrorists/suicide bombers went inside, hotel electricity cut off, firefighters & emergency services there, sources: hostages taken and some killed, no number know yet. Special #security operations team on it. pic.twitter.com/F6EgkFB30u
— Gharghasht ?? (@Gharghasht) January 20, 2018
Hotel Inter-Continental in Kabul under attack; three attackers in the hotel, hostages taken as heavy gunfire is underway – #Afghanistan #Kabul #IntercontinentalHotel #Terrorism #Taliban pic.twitter.com/mip4RMNlZK
— Salman Mansoor (@salmanzit) January 20, 2018
There are mixed reports on the number of casualties, but according to TOLOnews, an eyewitness said that “at least 15 people are either killed or wounded in the first and second floors of the hotel.”
It’s unclear if any of the hostages are American at this time. However, on Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent out a warning about terrorist groups attacking hotels in Kabul.
The warning reads, via the Overseas Advisory Security Council:
Event: We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul, such as the Hotel Baron near Hamid Karzai International Airport. These groups may also be targeting public gatherings/demonstrations, government facilities, transportation, markets, and places where foreigners are known to congregate.
Actions to Take:
· Keep a low profile
· Be aware of your surroundings and carry a charged cell phone
· Monitor local media for updates
· Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists/Westerners
· Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans
At the time of publication, the attackers are exchanging gunfire with responding security forces. We will update this story further when more information is available.
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