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'Seven killed' in battle at hotel

Seven people have been killed in a more than four-hour stand-off between militants and police at a hotel in the Afghan capital, Afghan police said.

Deputy police chief in Kabul, Daoud Amin, said eight other people - two policemen and six civilians - were wounded in the attack which ended early today when Nato helicopters fired rockets at gunmen on the rooftop of the besieged hotel and Afghan security forces stormed the top of the building.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said six suicide bombers attacked the Inter-Continental hotel, which is frequented by Afghan officials and foreign visitors.

He said two were killed by hotel guards and four others either blew themselves up or were killed in the airstrike or by Afghan troops.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

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From Belfast Telegraph