Kabul hotel attack toll increases to at least 22

Kabul hotel attack toll increases to at least 22

KABUL
Kabul hotel attack toll increases to at least 22

At least 22 people are now known to have died when Taliban militants slaughtered guests at a luxury Kabul hotel, Afghan officials said yesterday, as fears grew that the attackers may have had inside help.

Authorities warned they were still investigating how militants breached security, which was taken over by a private company three weeks ago, at the landmark Intercontinental Hotel late on Jan. 20.

Guests cowered behind pillars and in rooms as gunmen sprayed bullets and set fire to parts of the six-storey building. Some people climbed over balconies, using bedsheets in a desperate attempt to escape.

The attack ended after more than 12 hours of Jan. 21 with all six militants killed by Afghan forces, aided by Norwegian troops.

Afghan health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said 22 bodies had now been taken to Kabul hospitals.

“Some of the bodies [are] burned badly and need DNA tests to be identified,” he said.

Six Ukrainians were among those killed in the assault, the country’s foreign ministry has confirmed.

Afghanistan, Kabul, Taliban