A marathon deadly siege on a major hotel in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, has ended with the killing of all gunmen who fought off security forces for 16 hours.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the heavily-guarded Intercontinental Hotel in the Bagh-e Bala which left at least 18 civilians dead and 22 wounded.
Dressed in army uniforms and armed with automatic weapons, the attackers stormed the building on Saturday evening.
The assault sparked dramatic scenes, captured by Afghan news channels, as guests climbed down bedsheets tied to balconies to escape, with some losing grip and falling to the ground.
Special forces rushed into the scene to fight the attackers, in a gun battle that continued well into Sunday.
Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry, told Al Jazeera that four Afghan civilians and 14 foreigners were among those killed. Four attackers were also killed.
Afghan airline company Kam Air said in a statement that some of their employees had been killed and wounded in the attack. The company used the hotel to accommodate its staff.