The Taliban penetrated the hotel's typically heavy security in the attack, and one of them detonated an explosion on the second floor, said Erin Cunningham, a journalist for The Daily in Kabul.
Eight suicide bombers attacked Kabul's Hotel Inter-Continental in a brazen, carefully orchestrated operation that began Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday, ending with their deaths and those of 10 others, officials said.
A spokesman for the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan said earlier two of its helicopters were called in and fired on the roof of the hotel where three militants had taken up positions, successfully eliminating them. The NATO operation appeared to have ended the standoff between the insurgents and security forces.
Helicopters from the NATO-led force killed the last three insurgents in a final rooftop battle, a coalition spokesman said. Smoke rose from the roof of the Intercontinental hotel as the sun rose over Kabul after a battle lasting several hours.
The state-owned 1960s hotel, which is not part of the global InterContinental chain, was hosting delegates attending an Afghan security conference and a large wedding party when the insurgents struck at dinner-time.
Deputy police chief in Kabul, Daoud Amin, says eight other people — two policemen and six civilians — were wounded in the attack which ended early Wednesday when NATO helicopters fired rockets at gunmen on the rooftop of the besieged hotel and Afghan security forces stormed the top of the building.
AP Afghan officials say seven people were killed and eight others wounded in a Taliban attack on a luxury hotel in the capital, Kabul, Tuesday night.
Kabul has been relatively stable in recent months, although violence has increased across the country since the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on 2 May, and the start of the Taliban's "spring offensive".
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