Kabul hotel siege ends after 12 hours with 18 dead, Afghan officials say

(CNN) — Gunmen who raided the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul killed at least 18 people during a 12-hour standoff with security forces that ended Sunday, Afghan authorities said.

Of those killed, 14 were foreign nationals and four were Afghans, according to Najib Danish, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior. Four gunmen were also killed by Afghan security forces responding to the attack, he said.

Ukraine officials said the victims included Ukrainian nationals.

Nasrat Rahimi, a deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, had said earlier that foreigners were among the dead, but did not provide details on the nationalities of the victims. Seven Afghans were wounded, he said.

Afghan security forces went on every floor of the six-story hotel in a clearing operation, said Danish. He said four attackers were involved, but the Taliban released a statement claiming responsibility and saying it was carried out by five assailants.

The attackers were affiliated with the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, according to the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said that 153 people — including 41 foreigners — were rescued from the hotel. After the Interior Ministry declared the siege over, TOLO news channel reported that two attackers were still inside the hotel and gunshots were still being heard.

Gunmen attacked the hotel about 9 p.m. Saturday (11:30 a.m. ET) and were still trading fire with Afghan special forces Sunday morning local time, the station reported. Ambulances raced to the scene during a lull in the shooting, a witness who lives near the hotel told CNN.

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