CNN, ABP NEWS TV (India)
KABUL - A standoff between Afghan and NATO forces and Taliban militants who had attacked a hotel near Kabul and taken civilian hostages ended Friday morning with at least 26 people dead, CNN reports.
According to the Kabul police chief, the Taliban militants killed 15 civilians as well as three security guards and one police officer. All seven militants were killed in the 11-hour standoff. Fifty civilians were saved during the whole operation.
The militants attacked the Spozhmai hotel at midnight local time on Thursday as it hosted a large outdoor dinner, killing guards and taking guests hostage. The Afghan Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, aimed against foreign presence and perceived anti-Islamic behavior.
This is the latest in a string of attacks in Afghanistan that showcase the insurgency's ability to stage dangerous, high-profile attacks. Watch ABP News TV footage of the hotel site below.