KABUL – Two suicide bombers attacked a major hotel frequented by Westerners in Kabul late on Tuesday, a police source said, and a witness said gunfire was heard for several minutes after one blast.
According to reports from Tolo News 10 people were killed. The police source said a wedding party was underway when the attack happened in the Intercontinental Hotel. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, claiming the responsibility, said several fighters from the Islamist group had attacked the hotel, where Afghan and Western officials were supposedly holding security talks.
Mujahid, who spoke to Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location, said heavy casualties had been inflicted. The Taliban often exaggerate the number of casualties in attacks against Western and Afghan government targets.
Police threw up roadblocks immediately after the blast, stopping people from approaching the area, and power was cut in the hotel and surrounding areas.
Jawid, a guest at the hotel, said he jumped out a one-story window to flee the shooting.
"I was running with my family," he said. "There was shooting. The restaurant was full with guests."
Attacks in the capital Kabul have been relatively rare, although violence has increased since last couple of month as Taliban has announced the annual spring offensive. (Xinhua/Reuters/AP)