Targeting Westerners -- the attack is still in progress. Mumbai style jihad. Muslim attackers on every floor, hostages taken.
The Intercontinental Hotel is considered the safest hotel in Kabul, situated as it is on a hill, one road leading to it with multiple checkpoints.
Group of Attackers Storms Hotel in Afghan Capital NY Times
KABUL — Several attackers stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Tuesday night, and witnesses said shooting and a loud explosion were heard as Afghan security forces rushed to the scene.
Afghan security forces were still struggling to bring the situation under control, and the number of casualties was not immediately clear. But a Western security official said that early reports indicated that there were as many as six attackers — armed and believed to be wearing suicide vests — and that 10 people had been killed in the attack.
A police general, Mohammed Zahir, head of the Criminal Investigation Department, said at least three suicide bombers armed with light and heavy weapons had entered the Intercontinental Hotel. “All the Afghan forces are near and around the hotel and the fighting is still going on and we are trying to kill them,” he said.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack saying they were targeting foreigners and Afghans, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman for the north and east, said in a statement.
“Our muj entered the hotel,” he said, referring to Taliban fighters, “and they’ve gone through several stories of the building and they are breaking into each room and they are targeting the 300 Afghans and foreigners who are staying.” His claims could not be immediately confirmed.
The attack appeared to be in the style of previous assaults carried out by armed men in suicide vests in Afghanistan in recent years by the Taliban and its allies in the Haqqani network, a militant group based in Pakistan.
In October 2009 several suicide bombers and gunmen stormed a United Nations guest house in Kabul. By the end of the siege, at least five United Nations employees, two Afghan security officials and the brother-in-law of a prominent Afghan politician were dead, along with three attackers.