More than 40 people were killed after Taliban gunmen stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday, a government official told Fox News on Sunday.

The assault pinned down security forces for more than 13 hours before the last attacker was killed. as guests were forced to flee the building while parts of the structure caught fire.

Some guests couple be seen shimmying down tied-together sheets from upper-floor windows, and others rescued by Afghan forces. The heavily-guarded luxury hotel is popular among foreigners and Afghan officials.

A man tries to escape from a balcony at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel during an attack by gunmen in Kabul, Afghanistan January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani - RC17C640EB00

A man tries to escape from a balcony at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel during an attack by gunmen in Kabul, Afghanistan January 21, 2018  (REUTERS/Omar Sobhani)

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said at a press conference among those killed included a foreigner and a telecommunications official from the western Farah province who was attending a conference. Six other people, including three security forces, were reported wounded and more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued from the hotel, Danish said.

Ukraine said one of its citizens was killed in the attack. Vasyl Kyrylych, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, announced the death of the Ukrainian citizen in a brief statement on Twitter, without providing further details. Afghan officials did not identify the foreigner killed in the attack.

“They were shouting in Pashto (language), ‘Don’t leave any of them alive, good or bad. Shoot and kill them all,’ one of them shouted.”

– Abdul Rahman Naseri. a guest at the Intercontinental Hotel

Abdul Rahman Naseri, a guest who was at the hotel for a conference, told Reuters he was in the hall of the hotel when he saw four insurgents dressed in army uniforms.

“They were shouting in Pashto (language), ‘Don’t leave any of them alive, good or bad. Shoot and kill them all,’ one of them shouted,” Naseri said.

TALIBAN CLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEADLY ATTACK AT KABUL HOTEL

Witnesses said some areas of the building looked like a butcher’s shop with blood everywhere, Sky News reported.

Smokes rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Gunmen stormed the hotel in the Afghan capital on Saturday evening, triggering a shootout with security forces, officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Smokes rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018.  (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

At the onset of the attack, gunmen shot at people who were having dinner in one of the hotel restaurants before breaking into guests’ rooms.

Several people managed to escape to the hotel’s outdoor pool area where they hid until being rescued by security oficers. 

Aziz Tayeb, who hid behind a pillar, said he heard blasts “one after another.” 

“I saw people who were enjoying themselves a second ago screaming and fleeing like crazy, and some of them falling down, hit by bullets,” he said.

The Intercontinental is one of two main luxury hotels in the the country’s capital and was to host an information technology conference on Sunday, according to Reuters. More than 100 IT managers and engineers were on site when the attack took place, Ahmad Waheed, an official at the telecommunications ministry, told the news agency.

Policemen block the main road near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. An Afghan official says that a group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Policemen block the main road near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. An Afghan official says that a group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul  (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

The Taliban claimed the attack, which began around 9 p.m. Saturday, saying five gunmen armed with suicide vests targeted foreigners and Afghan officials.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents initially planned to attack the hotel Thursday night but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul had issued a warning to American citizens on Thursday, saying: “We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, John R. Bass, condemned the attack, saying in a statement, “such violence has no place here or anywhere in the world” and that the U.S. Embassy is in “close contact with Afghan authorities, who are continuing to investigate the incident.”

“Afghanistan deserves peace and security – not deliberate and murderous attacks on innocent civilians,” Bass said. “My government and the people of the United States stand with the Afghan government and people in fighting terrorism and working to bring peace and security to Afghanistan.”

The attack unfolded almost six years after Taliban insurgents launched a similar assault on the property, which is not part of the Intercontinental chain of worldwide hotels.

A fire broke out at the hotel as the fighting raged, and the sound of explosions could be heard throughout the standoff. Live TV footage showed people trying to escape through windows on the upper stories.

Security forces stand guard near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. An Afghan official says that a group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Security forces stand guard near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.  (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Afghan forces have struggled to combat the Taliban since the U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. They have also had to contend with a growing Islamic State terror group affiliate that has carried out a number of massive attacks in recent years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/01/21/kabul-intercontinental-hotel-siege-leaves-more-than-40-dead-afghanistan-official-says.html

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