A group of heavily armed gunmen, including suicide bombers, stormed a top hotel in Kabul late Saturday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said Afghan commandos had surrounded the Intercontinental Hotel and were dealing with the siege, which began about 9 p.m. local time.

He said there were four assailants and that they had set the hotel kitchen on fire before entering areas housing guests, but he did not say whether there were casualties.

Witnesses reported hearing intense gunfire from inside the building. Officials had not confirmed reports of a hostage situation.

The luxury hotel sits at the top of a Kabul hill and is heavily guarded because it has come under attack previously.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the assault. The Taliban, particularly its allied Haqqani network, is known for staging such coordinated attacks in the city, but the insurgent group had yet to say whether it was behind the violence.

Islamic State has also taken responsibility for some recent suicide bombings in Kabul. The latest IS-plotted attack took place late last month and killed more than 40 people and wounded around 100 others.The victims were mostly members of the Afghan minority Shiite community.

Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel was also the target of a suicide assault in 2011 that killed at least 20 people. The Taliban took responsibility for that attack. 

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Written by Glasworld

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