Gunmen Attack Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan
The Hotel Intercontinental Kabul, a five star hotel in the capital of Afghanistan, was under attack by gunmen on Saturday, according to officials of the country's government. The BBC reported that two attackers had been killed but at least two others remained in the building.
The attack began at approximately 9pm local time (11:30am Eastern) when the attackers stormed the hotel and began shooting at guests. An Afghan special forces commander told CNN that the the attackers had been in the hotel kitchen, then moved to the fourth floor.
Just this past Thursday, the US State Department issued a security alert on social media indicating that extremists "may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul." The warning advised travelers to keep a low profile and stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.
Despite its similar name, the Hotel Intercontinental Kabul is not part of the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), though it was originally developed and opened by the hotel chain. It became a government-owned property after the Soviet invasion in 1969 and continues to use the Intercontinental name despite having no connection to the parent company.
The hotel was previously attacked by the Taliban in 2011 — 21 people were killed in that incident, including nine attackers.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.