Afghan police say at least 11 people have died in an attack on a Kabul hotel that was packed with foreigners awaiting a concert. Indian and US officials said a US citizen and two Indians were among those killed at the Palace Park Hotel. At least five people were injured. BBC was there:
Two suspected gunmen were reported to be among the dead – police said they were shot before they could carry out a suicide attack. The Taliban said it was responsible. “The attack was planned carefully to target the party in which important people and Americans were attending,” the group said in a statement.
The attack lasted five hours after beginning early on Wednesday evening. Reports say the siege was eventually ended after Afghan police took the building room by room. Security forces rescued more than 50 people who had been at a party in the garden of the hotel.
India’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, tweeted that there have been “a few Indian casualties among others”. An unnamed Indian foreign ministry official told the AFP news agency that “two Indians are dead, one is unaccounted for and three others are safe”.
The gunmen reportedly went room to room seeking foreigners. US embassy spokeswoman Monica Cummings told the AFP news agency that one US citizen had died in the attack. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims at this time. Out of respect for the families of those killed, we have no further information at this time,” Ms Cummings said.