Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has confirmed death of seven Ukrainian citizens in a terrorist attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

But speaking at a press briefing on Jan. 22 he said that the number may still rise.

Gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed the hotel on Jan. 20 and held it under siege for almost 13 hours. The extremist Islamic movement the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Reuters reported that the official death toll was at 20, including 13 foreigners, many of whom worked for Afghan airline Kam Air.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Tajikistan and Afghanistan Viktor Nikityuk said that four of those killed worked for Ukrainian Wings airline, two worked for airline URGA , and one person had a contract directly with Kam Air.


Volodymyr Kostenko, the director of Ukrainian Wings airline that provided services to Kam Air, confirmed that four victims, including two women, were on its staff.

Earlier, the BBC cited sources in Kabul police saying that nine Ukrainians, one German, one Greek, and one Kazakh citizen had been confirmed dead. Two of those killed had yet to be identified, the BBC said.

The attackers were reportedly shot dead by Afghan Special Forces, although it is still unclear how many gunmen there were. Witness accounts and information from the Afghan Interior Ministry and the Taliban differ, claiming three to five gunmen were involved in the attack.

The raid on the hotel happened just two days after the United States Embassy in Kabul issued a warning of possible attacks by extremist groups on hotels and public places in Kabul.

Editor’s note: This story previously stated that one Ukrainian was killed in the attack. It was updated as more Ukrainian casualties were reported. 

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