The United States Department of State has confirmed that recent Taliban attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel that left an estimated 30 people dead, includes four United States citizens.
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told Reuters, “We can confirm that four United States citizens were killed and two injured. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those wounded,” state department would not be providing further details out of the respect for the bereaved of those who were killed, she added.
Earlier United States officials did not provide exact figures of killings and had said that several American citizens were killed.
There is still miscalculation with regard to the number of people killed in an attack, senior Afghan security officials have put the figure at 22 to 30 people, although some local reports have said 40 people were killed.
According to some local media reports, six attackers were also killed by security forces, although some other reports revealed they were only five in number.
Officials said the militants gained access to the hotel from the north side and stormed its kitchen, dressed in army uniforms and then charged through the corridor and sought out foreigners and Afghan officials inside the hotel. As many as 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued or managed to escape during the attack.
Victor Nikityuk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Tajikistan and Afghanistan, told the Ukraine TV channel that seven Ukrainian people working for Kam Air had been killed in the attack.
However, Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, said six of those killed were Ukrainians.
The attack was aimed to strike as more than 30 local officials were at the Intercontinental hotel, attending a meeting organized by the Telecommunications Ministry, Afghan security officials report.
Meanwhile, Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan has ordered an investigation and said militant groups were being helped by neighboring countries, hinting at Pakistan, which administration in Pakistan refuses.