Norwegian soldiers stopped attack in Kabul

Kabul InternationalA man tries to escape from a balcony at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel during an attack by gunmen in Kabul, Afghanistan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani - RC17C640EB00

Norwegian soldiers helped abort lethal hotel attack in Kabul

Norwegian soldiers assisted the Afghan police forces who responded to the attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul. Six people were killed before the attack was stopped.

 

Several perpetrators attacked the luxury hotel Intercontinental in Kabul at 9 pm on Saturday local time

After about twelve hours of fighting, Afghan police, with the assistance of Norwegian forces, regained control of the ara

Press spokesperson in the Armed Forces operating headquarters (FOH) , Brynjar Stordalen, confirms to NRK the announcement informs that Afghan police forces trained by Norwegians and also that Norwegian soldiers assisted during the operation.

– We have just been notified that all Norwegian personnel are back at the base and are accounted for. No Norwegian soldiers were injured, says Stordalen.

He states that the Norwegian forces were involved from the moment the perpetrators penetrated the hotel until the action was over. The mission was essentially to ensure that the local police did their job properly.

– I can confirm that there has been a relatively extensive attack on hotel Intercontinental. The Norwegian Special Forces in Kabul have been involved after the attack started last night, says Stordalen.

Norwegian staying at the hotel

A total of six people were killed during the attack on the Intercontinental, including a  woman of foreign origin. Seven more persons were injured, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Internal Affairs states. A total of 153 people, including 40 foreign nationals, were rescued during the police effort at the hotel.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (UD) confirms that a Norwegian National was present at the hotel during the attack. They are not willing to provide information about gender or age, but confirm that the Norwegian citizen is safe and sound. They do not know whether the person is injured or not

-We are now working on obtaining an overview of the situation, and at the same time offer consular assistance, Communications Adviser in the UD, Guri Solberg, tells NTB.

The Taliban claims responsibility

According to Afghan police there were at least four perpetrators attacking the luxury hotel. They were armed with bomb vests, firearms and grenades and traversed several floors in the hotel and shooting at guests. Afghan authorities confirm that the attack was not over before all perpetrators were killed.

In an email to AFP, the Taliban claims that there were a total of five members of their organization that stormed the hotel. They claim that “a dozen foreign invaders and their puppets” were killed.

They also state that they had originally planned to attack the hotel on Thursday, but that they postponed the attack because of a wedding.

The Continental hotel is frequently used for weddings, conferences and political meetings. It has also been subject to earlier attacks. In 2011, 21 people were killed, including all nine perpetrators, in an attack the Taliban also claim to be responsible of.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

 

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