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Assault on luxury hotel ends with death of gunmen

Assault on luxury hotel ends with death of gunmen

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Mar 20, 2014 - 22:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Four suicide attackers were killed after a two-hour clash with security personnel inside a luxury hotel in the heart of Kabul on Thursday might, witnesses and officials said.

Bursts of fire erupted at about 9.15pm, followed by a powerful blast near Serena Hotel, frequented by high-ranking Afghan and foreign officials. Security personnel surrounded the building.

Interior Ministry spokesman Siddique Siddiqui told journalists at the site the brazen assault ended at 11pm with the killing of four terrorists, armed with pistols and hand grenades, The attackers entered the hotel through the backdoor.

Hel blamed the hotel's guards for laxity that let the terrorists enter the heavily fortified building at 6pm. Two wounded Serena staffers were under medical care at hospital, he said, adding the incident was under investigation.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai confirmed the gunfire, but did not give further details. It was not immediately clear whether security guards or assailants fired inside the high-security hotel, popular with foreign diplomats and Afghan elites.

According to one security official, who did not want to be named, said up to four gunmen had forced their way into the hotel, exchanging fire with security guards.

Afghan lawmaker Qais Hassan, who was staying at Serena at the time of the incident, said the clash ended at 11pm. "As of now the situation is calm," he added.

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