Afghan police say they have stormed a fashionable Kabul hotel and freed a number of hostages after an attack by Taliban gunmen. A police official said 13 people were killed in the siege: five militants, three guards, four civilians and one policeman.
The Taliban had used rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns to attack the Spozhmai Hotel late at night.
Heavily armed gunmen entered the hotel on Thursday just before midnight. Among their arsenal were machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the hotel on Lake Qargha was used by weallthy Afghans and decadent foreigners.
NATO forces in Afghanistan are in the process of handing over control of security to the Afghan army and police before pulling out all its combat troops in the country in 2014. A recent rise in Taliban attacks, including the latest on the Spozhmai Hotel, show how difficult the security job will be for whoever carries it out.