Gunmen attack Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul

There were reports that a number of people were being held hostage, while an eye witness said that part of the building was on fire.

At least four gunmen have launched an attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, Afghan officials say.

Residents in the area report a high volume of ambulances at the scene but the area has been cordoned off by security forces.

Electricity was cut after an initial explosion at the hilltop hotel, a counterterrorism source said.

Special forces were attempting to engage the gunmen, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.

More news: Somali, US commandos storm al-Shabab camp, rescue child soldiers

In June 2011, seven Taliban fighters attacked the same hotel over several hours.

Security in Kabul has been tightened since May 31 when a massive truck bomb ripped through the diplomatic quarter, killing some 150 people and wounding around 400 others - mostly civilians.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The US State Department on Thursday warned of a possible impending attack in the Afghan capital.

Security personnel arrive outside the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on December 28, 2017 at a Shiite cultural center.

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