Araweelo News Network
Kabul(ANN)-A US State Department official has said that Americans were among the dead and injured in the weekend attack by Taliban militants on a luxury hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The exact number of American citizens killed and injured were not immediately issued on Tuesday by the official, who spoke on condition anonymity, The Associated Press reported.
A total of 22 people, at least 14 foreigners, were killed in the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul over the weekend after Taliban militants attacked it. Afghan officials initially said 18 people were dead.
“We can confirm that there were US citizen fatalities and injuries,” the State Department official said.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those wounded,” the official added.
“Out of respect for the families of the deceased, we have no further comment.”
At least four assailants raided the hotel at about 21:00 local time (16:30 GMT) on Saturday, detonating explosives, taking people hostage, and shooting at individuals as some terrified guests and employees used bedsheets to climb down balconies to escape.
The siege ended on Sunday after the attackers were killed.
Special forces, including the Crisis Response Unit as well as foreign troops based in Afghanistan, were called in to end the siege at the high-end hotel, which is frequented by foreigners.
Images broadcast by local television showed thick smoke billowing from the building.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Afghanistan confirmed that at least seven of among the dead were Ukrainians.
A German, a Kazakh and two Venezuelans have also been reported dead.
Najib Danish, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said on Tuesday that eight Afghans were also among the dead.
Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP on Sunday that around 150 people were rescued, including more than 40 foreigners.
The United States — under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency — and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.
The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after more than sixteen years, thousands of foreign troops are still deployed to the country.