Afghan Special Forces battle to regain Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel in control

Vastavam web: Afghan Special Forces moved through Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel floor by floor on Sunday fighting the surviving gunmen who attacked the hotel a day earlier, seizing hostages and staging an overnight siege.As day broke on Sunday, thick clouds of black smoke could be seen pouring from the building. Several armoured U.S. military vehicles with heavy machine guns could be seen close to the hotel along with Afghan police units.Najib Danish, an interior ministry spokesman, said at least five people had been killed and six wounded in the raid, which came days after a U.S. embassy warning of possible attacks on hotels in Kabul.

Danish said 16 foreigners had been rescued but it was not clear what their nationality was.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest in a long series of attacks which have underlined the city’s precarious situation and the ability of militants to mount high profile operations aimed at undermining confidence in the Western-backed government.According to one witness, who did not want to be named, the attackers took hotel staff and guests hostage.

The Intercontinental Hotel, an imposing 1960s structure set on a hilltop and heavily protected like most public buildings in Kabul, was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011.