Taliban suicide bombers struck a luxury hotel in Kabul on Tuesday, reportedly killing at least six civilians.
The raid began when six armed Taliban wearing suicide vests stormed the Intercontinental Hotel which is popular with foreign visitors and government officials. Reports said that six hotel workers were killed.
The hotel was plunged into darkness during the five-hour-long raid. NATO helicopters were scrambled and shot two Taliban perched on the roof of the building. Four others blew themselves up.
The Afghan interior ministry say that a number of police were injured in the shoot-out.
The raid came on the eve of a conference to discuss the gradual transition of civil and military responsibility from foreign powers to Afghan forces. The Taliban claimed that they carried out the attack and they were targeting foreigners.
The last deadly hotel raid was in January 2008 when Taliban gunmen killed six at the nearby Serena hotel.