Following the 17-hour siege of the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul this weekend, the Ukrainian government has confirmed that seven of its nationals, including two women, were killed in the overnight rampage by the Taliban.
Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs said all Ukrainian nationals, working for Kam Air aviation company, are being pulled out of Afghanistan.
According to reports, Afghanistan bound commercial flights from the Ukraine have also been suspended.
“As of today, we can confirm that (the attack in Afghanistan) took the lives of seven Ukrainians. Unfortunately, we are afraid that there could be more casualties. We are working closely with the Afghanistan authorities; our consuls are certainly working on the ground," said Ukraine’s foreign minister Pavlo
“After this tragic event happened, after this terrorist attack started, we started receiving information from our people,” said director Volodymyr Kostenko, director of Ukraine’s Wings Airline, which provides services to Kam Air.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ukraine’s Unian news agency reported that the first group of Ukrainian survivors had arrived home. According to the report the remainder of the Ukrainians who survived the attack will arrive home later Tuesday and on Wednesday.
According to Unian, a total of 19 Ukrainians survived. However, the report did not indicate how many Ukrainians had been at the hotel at the time of the attack.
Unian’s report stated a charter flight will repatriate the bodies of those killed on Wednesday.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said late Sunday he was shocked by reports about the death of Ukrainians in the weekend attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul.
Poroshenko tweeted on Sunday: "Shocked by tragic news from Afghanistan. Ukrainian citizens, employees of the Ukrainian airline, fell victims of the terrorist attack in Kabul. My sincere condolences go to the families of all the deceased."
In addition to the seven Ukrainian nationals, one German, one Kazakh and two Venezuelan nationals were also believed to have died in the attack.
Saturday’s deadly attack left at least 43 people dead and many more wounded. However, government has only confirmed the death of 29 people.