Militants attack Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital

Jan. 20 (UPI) — Four gunmen stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, according to a spokesman for nation’s interior ministry.

Officials confirmed special forces are currently battling the militants but they did not give details about the number of causalities. The attackers had been in the hotel kitchen before moving to the fourth floor.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department warned of an impending attack in the area.

“Security Alert for #Kabul, #Afghanistan: reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul, such as the Hotel Baron near Hamid Karzai Int’l Airport,” according to an agency tweet. On Saturday, the State Department confirmed the event, calling it a suicide attack.

According to reports, the four attackers were armed with automatic weapons and there were a number of people being held hostage. Explosions could be heard in the area and one witness said part of the building was on fire.

The hotel was attacked previously, in 2011, by seven Taliban gunmen who died in the attack along with 11 other people.

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