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.
Two police officers are among the dead, according to the Interior Ministry.
"As a result of Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and Coalition force's fast reaction and by air support of the NATO forces, eight suicide bombers were killed," the ministry said in a statement.
Mohammad Zahir, chief of criminal investigations for Kabul police, said Wednesday morning that casualty figures could rise.
"We are still searching the hotel; the death number may increase," Zahir said. Twelve people were injured, he added, reports CNN International.
The attack on the hotel, which is not affiliated with the global hotel chain of InterContinental Hotels Group, will likely raise questions about President Barack Obama's announced plans for the start of the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, where they have been fighting for a decade in America's longest war. The fact that the siege ended because of the involvement of NATO forces serves as a reminder of how reliant Afghan forces remain on foreign assistance. in America's longest war
The attack also came at the end of a day that had focused on the future of Afghanistan and the prospect of political reconciliation in a meeting of senior representatives from Afghanistan, the U.S. and Pakistan, according to Wall Street Journal.