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Kabul hotel attack: Death toll rises to 18

Kabul [Afghanistan]  : The death toll in the Saturday's attack at central Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel has risen to 18, according to government sources.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior (MoI) had earlier confirmed that the death toll was five. At least six people were injured in the attack.

All the three terrorists, who attacked the Intercontinental Hotel here, were killed by the Afghan security forces after a 13-hour siege.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday condemned the attack and called for regional and international cooperation against terrorism.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the attack and commended security forces for saving people trapped inside the hotel during the attack.

"I commend the Afghan Forces for their bravery and professional action of rescuing over 100 civilians and killing all terrorists in the insane attack on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. I condemn the attack and condole with the victim families," Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

According to the MoI spokesman Najib Danish, around 100 guests and staffers were rescued, of which 16 of them were foreign nationals. He said all those who had died or were wounded had been Afghan nationals. The MoI also dismissed reports of a hostage situation.

The terrorists stormed the hotel on Saturday evening, shooting at guests and detonating grenades. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Intercontinental Hotel, located on a hilltop and heavily protected like most public buildings in Kabul, is one of two main luxury hotels in the city and had reportedly been due to host an information technology conference on Sunday.

In 2011, a similar attack on the hotel left at least 21 people dead, which also included nine attackers. The Taliban was also responsible for that attack as well.

The attack comes just days after the US embassy in Kabul issued a warning about possible attacks on hotels in the city.

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