Unofficial sources said a meeting was held by Afghan Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology in the building earlier Saturday and several provincial officials who attended the meeting were present at the building when the hotel came under attack at around 09:00 p.m. local time Saturday.
The Intercontinental Hotel was the target of a suicide assault in 2011 that killed at least 20 people.
Captain Tom Gresback, spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said they were also watching closely. The attackers had been in the hotel kitchen before moving to the fourth floor.
Some reports say the hotel had been hosting an IT conference.
"I don't know if the attackers are inside the hotel but I can hear gunfire from somewhere near the first floor", the man, who did not want to be named, said by telephone. The Interior Ministry has confirmed the attack.
An Afghan security forces member keeps watch near the Intercontinental Hotel following an attack in Kabul
The officials told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the assailants were exchanging fire with Afghan security forces.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters during a visit to Cairo he had been briefed on the attack and that officials were monitoring the situation but he had no immediate comment.
While it shares the same name, the hotel in Kabul is not part of InterContinental Hotels Group, which issued a statement in 2011 saying that "the hotel Inter-continental in Kabul is not part of IHG".
Security in Kabul has been tightened since May 31 when a massive truck bomb ripped through the diplomatic quarter, killing some 150 people and wounding around 400 others- mostly civilians. The Department said it had received reports of "extremist groups" planning a hotel attack in the capital, "such as [on] the Hotel Baron near Hamid Karzai Int'l Airport".
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