The sound of gunfire rang out in the Afghan capital Kabul as police battled to take control after a Taliban attack on a guest house popular with foreigners.
At least nine people were reportedly killed by gunmen, including one American and two Indians.
Two gunmen are also said to have died as police intervened in the diplomatic enclave. The militants struck as a party was being held in the garden.
“I was inside the (guest house) building. I went out into the yard with my friends, when the shooting happened we went back to our rooms and hid under our beds,” said Hassib Sarmadi, who was rescued by security forces.
The stand-off with police ended after several hours. On Thursday morning the Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying they had deliberately targeted the party attended by “important people including Americans”.
The militants have stepped up attacks since most foreign forces pulled out of Afghanistan at the end of last year.