Karim has been waiting outside the hotel since the attack started and witnessed the siege through Sunday morning. Shah Marai, AFP/Getty Images Afghan journalists take photographs at the site of a deadly attack on the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on January 21, 2018.
More than 150 people were rescued or managed to escape, including 41 foreigners. KamAir put out a statement saying some of its flights were disrupted because of the attack. One of the gunmen shouted that they didn't kill Afghans and demanded to know "Where are the foreigners?" Two other foreigners have yet to be identified.
New Delhi is likely to send its officials from security agencies to Kabul to meet their counterparts in the Afghan government and discuss ways to step up security at India's diplomatic and consular missions, sources told the DH.
They are "shooting at guests", he said. It was the second time the hotel was attacked in the past seven years.
Speaking from a hospital bed, he said the attackers began firing into the door, which the guests had barricaded with furniture when the lights went out and he took his only chance. Explosions could be heard throughout the standoff.
Dramatic images on Afghan TV showed thick black smoke and flames rising from the imposing hilltop hotel.
The Afghan Interior Ministry blamed the Haqqani network for the attack.
"Tragic news has come from Afghanistan".
Abdul Rahman Naseri, a visitor who was at the hotel for a gathering, said he was in the hall of the hotel when he saw four insurgents clothed in army outfits. All five attackers were also killed.
"The security company is being questioned and it has to provide a lot of explanation", the Afghan official said. "My government and the people of the United States stand with the Afghan government and people in fighting terrorism and working to bring peace and security to Afghanistan", the USA envoy added.
Despite efforts by the country's security forces, attacks are frequent.
Omeri had been having dinner with friends - including the Afghan general consul for the Pakistani city of Karachi - in a fourth-floor suite when they were interrupted by loud banging on the door about 8:45 p.m. Saturday (11:15 a.m. ET).
"They didn't do anything, they didn't attack".
This was one of several deadly extremist attacks over the weekend.
He said he had shut down both his mobile phones to avoid being betrayed by their ringing, which led authorities to believe he had been killed.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Sunday, a roadside bomb killed at least 13 civilians in the western Herat province. The Taliban often inflates its casualty claims.