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'All guests and staff safe' after gunmen attack hotel

All the guests and staff at the Serena hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, are safe after gunmen attacked the building, an official claimed.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack on the luxury hotel which is home to many United Nations staff and foreign delegations who are in the country ahead of next month's presidential election.

The group claim the fight is still underway.

Read: 'Two or three gunmen' entered luxury hotel in Kabul

'Two or three gunmen' entered luxury hotel in Kabul

Two or three gunmen entered the luxury Serena hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan by a back door and opened fire wounding two people, security sources told Reuters.

Police outside Serena hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit: Reuters

One person, who was taken to safety along with other guests, said the shooting appeared to begin in the hotel restaurant. Another guest told the news agency he could hear sporadic gunfire.

A man stands guard outside the luxurious hotel in Kabul. Credit: Reuters

The hotel, which was attacked in 2008 by a suicide bomber claiming six lives, is considered the safest place to stay in Kabul and is home to many United Nations staff and foreign delegations ahead of next month's presidential election.

The hotel has previously been attacked before. Credit: Reuters

Read: 'Gunmen attack Kabul hotel' popular with Westerners

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Luxury hotel which is home to UN staff attacked

The luxury hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, which has been reportedly attacked by gunmen is the home to United Nations staff and foreign delegations in the country.

The Serena hotel was also Afghanistan's first five-star hotel.

View of the Kabul Serena Hotel, where gunmen have reportedly attacked. Credit: Reuters
A view of the entrance of Kabul Serena Hotel in 2005. Credit: Reuters

Read: 'Gunmen attack Kabul hotel' popular with Westerners

'Gunmen attack luxury hotel' in Kabul, Afghanistan

A luxury hotel in the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul, which is home to many United Nations staff and foreign delegations ahead of next month's elections, has been attacked by gunmen, a guest told Reuters.

The woman, who was taken to safety along with other guests, said that the shooting appeared to start in the restaurant at Serena hotel.

Kabul bomb 'shook the whole area' says eyewitness

A policeman keeps watch at the scene of the explosion. Credit: Reuters

An eyewitness told Reuters how the Kabul blast "shook the whole area".

Shkaib Sarwari said: "A suicide attack happened in a Lebanese restaurant, which shook the whole area and then gunfire started. We were very scared and when I came out all I could see was security forces around the area."

Another eyewitness, Gul Agha, told Bloomberg Businessweek that the explosion shattered windows of Norway's and other nearby embassies. The initial blast was so forceful that it was heard miles away.

Afghan security forces arrive at the scene of the attack. Credit: Reuters

The Lebanese restaurant, Taverna du Liban, was targeted during a busy time when many of the neighbourhood's Western aid workers, journalists and other expatriates were dining out.

The restaurant was lacking in common security measures, such as cement blast walls and checkpoints blocking off the street.

The bombing was the third in the Afghan capital in under two weeks.

Read: '16 people killed' in Kabul 'including 13 foreigners'

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'16 people killed' in Kabul 'including 13 foreigners'

A NATO soldier arrives at the scene of the blast. Credit: Reuters

Kabul police chief Gen. Zahir Zahir has told ITV News that 16 people have been killed in the Afghan capital bomb attack, including 13 foreigners, while four U.N. employees who "could have been present in close proximity to the attack" remain "unaccounted for", the Associated Press has reported.

Gen. Zahir Zahir also confirmed that five people had been wounded.

'Insurgents entered compound' in Afghanistan attack

A police official at the scene of a car bomb explosion and gunfire in the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, said insurgents "entered" the targeted international compound housing military contractors.

First there was an explosion in front of Green Village which destroyed two or three vehicles belonging to foreign forces, and after that a number of insurgents entered inside the compound, fighting Afghan forces.

– Police official in Kabul

Read: International compound targeted by gunfire in Kabul

International compound targeted by gunfire in Kabul

An international compound housing military contractors in eastern Kabul, Afghanistan, has come under attack from gunfire, causing casualties, according to reports.

Earlier today a car bomb exploded close to the Green Village building and security officials stated that fighting had taken place on the street outside the compound.

The compound was the target of a similar attack last year that left at least eight people dead and around 20 wounded.

There have been conflicting reports on whether the walls of the compound were breached.

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