At least seven people have been killed in a hostage takeover of a hotel by Taliban extremists in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday citing a police source.
Late Thursday night a group of insurgents armed with hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and other weapons attacked the Spozhmai Hotel at the Qargha Lake resort area just nine kilometers oustide Kabul. Several dozen people were taken hostage during the siege.
"The operation against Taliban hostage-taking attack is going on but as we know so far six civilians and a policeman have been killed," the police official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Earlier the chief of police, Ayub Salangi, said that 18 hostages had been freed and no less than two insurgents had been killed. He said police have so far not been able to search the entire hotel yet and therefore cannot give the exact number of the attackers.
The Taliban have already claimed responsibility and blame the attack on the hotel on the rich foreigners and Afghans having "wild parties" within the walls of the hotel, drinking alcohol and other things that are forbidden under the norms of Islam.