For seventeen hours from Saturday night to Sunday, dozens of lives were killed, shot or hidden while six Taliban operatives stormed the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, with fingers pointing to an attack likely carried out with internal help. [19659002DeacuerdoconmúltiplesfuncionariosyfuentesenelterrenotresdelosatacantesingresaronalhoteldelujoatravésdelapuertadeaccesoexclusivaparaVIPqueestáreservadasoloparafuncionariosgubernamentalesydiplomáticosdealtorangoenunacamionetablindadaDichaentradarequiereunpaseprevioautorizadoyunpaseVIPraravezdistribuidoemitidoporlaadministracióndelhoteldijounfuncionarioyporlotantomuchasdelasmedidasdeseguridadpesadas-incluidasescaneosychequesadicionales-sepasanporalto
"Without help from inside, no way to go through four checkpoints that would have been possible," said Sanjar Sohail, a researcher and editor of Hasht e Subh newspaper based in Kabul, to Fox News.
It is said that well-dressed attackers were able to enter the hotel through the kitchen, thus avoiding the standard procedure of body scanning, and launched their shooting, seeming to know the design of the hotel in detail.
The other two assailants, who had been dining in the restaurant, joined the fray. Apparently calm and collected, according to the memories of the witnesses, they politely finished their meal before opening fire, presumably killing two children. Then they moved through the hotel room by room with the intention of killing.
"They knew where foreigners were staying and avoided some rooms," said one source.
Reports on how many people died still varied widely On Sunday, an Afghan government official said more than 40 people died while other government spokesmen said only five civilians were killed.
Afghan police also suspected that the two diners had been at the hotel for days, but it was not clear if they had a reserved room or were hiding in an undisclosed area.
"They had access to the rooms, to the guest floors, and they went through doors that have special access codes that are computerized," said an Afghan police source. "It seems they did not have problems using those codes."
Feroz Bashari of the Afghan Government Information and Media Center told Fox News that the matter is under full investigation and agreed that until now the attackers "had hotel help".
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming they initially intended to attack on Thursday, but postponed the attack on Saturday afternoon on a mission to minimize civilian casualties due to a wedding that was carried out during the initial target time.
WITHIN THE DEADLY TALIBAN ATTACK AGAINST THE AFGHAN TROOPS
The brutal attack on the hotel, popular with journalists and foreign diplomats, occurred when security in the Afghan capital and throughout the country was falling apart . , which led the Trump administration to deploy more troops and more weapons to combat the growing violence.
Security Specialists Affiliated with Pr The ubiquitous local private security company Kabul Balkh Safety & Security Company (KBSS), which took over the hotel's security duties for the Afghan government 21 days ago, insisted to Fox News that all protocols and security procedures were met, and that some had placed weapons inside the hotel before the attack.
"The Taliban have become very skilled and use the Internet and other devices to collect information, and it is easy for them to obtain fake identification cards, uniforms and vehicles before they carry out attacks," said Moslem al-Hayat, a security professional and former military attache at the Embassy of Afghanistan in London.
WAR HOSPITALS OF AFGHANISTAN: CHILDREN FACED BY DEAD IN MIDDLE OF SCALING VIOLENCE
More than 100 IT managers and information technology professionals were present at the site for a Sunday conference, and it is believed that many of the attendees are among the dead and injured, along with high-profile members of the Kandahar Peace Council met with other local leaders from Helmand province.
The Karachi-based Afghanistan Consul, Dr. Abdullah Waheed Poyan, was among the dead. He served as Afghanistan's consul in Peshawar for two years before being rotated to the same position in Karachi last year. He was known for his tenacious diplomacy and efforts for peace between the two countries, an academic devotee and political analyst. During the Afghan war, Poyan escaped to the United States, where his family still lives, but then returned to continue working in Afghanistan.
Several friends of Poyan claimed that he also became a US citizen, but the State Department could not immediately confirm or deny that. US diplomats in Kabul are "monitoring the situation and are in contact with local authorities to determine if any US citizen has been affected," the officials said.
Afghan intelligence sources told Fox News that Poyan did not like the Taliban, and the possibility of accessing his name and room number, along with an additional guest list, was under intense scrutiny .
The Afghan national defense security forces led the response efforts, a US military spokesperson at Kabul headquarters Resolute Support – the name given to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan – told Fox News, adding that US forces in the country "provided hostages" rescue counseling assistance and were waiting to provide media evacuation assistance to the Afghan Security Forces on the scene. "
" We condemn the despicable attack on civilians at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. The terrorists responsible for this cowardly attack are enemies of Afghanistan. On behalf of the entire Resolving Support Mission, our thoughts go to the family and friends of the innocent people killed and wounded in this incident, "said Gen. John Nicholson, Commander of Resolute Support to Fox News in a statement. International supports the legitimate government of Afghanistan as it works to secure the Afghan people and build a stable and peaceful future for all Afghans. "
The five attackers were killed, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danesh said.
The Taliban, who had been in the middle of peace negotiations in Turkey last week, also attacked the Intercontinental six years ago, killing 21.
Mir Jalalzai contributed to this report.