KABUL - As gunmen went on a night-time rampage through Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, Aziz Tayeb posted a desperate plea on Facebook: "Pray for me. I may die." The telecom executive hid behind a pillar as six heavily-armed attackers stormed the luxury hotel and began spraying terrified guests and staff with bullets.
At least 18 people were killed, including 14 foreigners - "several" of whom were Ukrainian - in the 12-hour ordeal as the attackers engaged in an fierce gunfight with Afghan security forces.
"I saw people who were enjoying themselves a second ago screaming and fleeing like crazy, and some of them falling down, hit by bullets," Tayeb told AFP on Sunday, hours after his traumatic experience ended.
One colleague, who had been stuck on the fifth floor of the six-storey building throughout the attack, told Tayeb that some areas of the hotel resembled a butcher's shop with blood everywhere.