Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers, armed with heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, entered the Intercontinental hotel about 9:30 local time. The Associated Press
reports that some Afghan provincial governors were also staying at the three-star hotel which was once part of an International hotel chain.
There are conflicting reports as to the number of Taliban militants. AP says that there are four gunmen and four suicide bombers while Al Jazeera
reports six suicide bombers with at least one being able to detonate.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid quickly claims the attack. Reportedly, there were at least 60-70 guests inside the hotel.
The Taliban spokesperson also issued a statement claiming that Taliban gunmen have killed and wounded "50 foreign and local enemies." Mohammad Zahir, a senior Afghan police officer, however denies Mujahid's claim. The Taliban are known for exaggerating casualties from their attacks.
Nick Schifrin, an Afghanistan corespondent for ABC News, covered the said attack live on the micro-blogging site Twitter
Some of Schifrin's tweets are posted below.
Dozens of Afghan commandos just arrived outside Intercon Hotel in Kabul #Afghanistan. They went up hill then came back for their vehicles
As we just reported on @ABCWorldNews: international troops are circling the hotel in helicopters, firing on attackers on the roof
Interior minister: 6 attackers dead, but possible 1 still hiding, so lights remain off. Afghan commandos used night vision. 0 govs killed.
Sun rising on sad, sad day in Kabul. We still don't know death toll in Intercontinental Hotel siege, most significant attack of year
According to the latest report by the Reuters
, last three Taliban gunmen were killed by NATO forces in a rooftop battle.