The US State Department on Tuesday confirmed that Americans were killed and injured in Saturday’s deadly rampage by the Taliban on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which claimed the lives of at least 43 people.
"The attack on the hotel, once again, shows the depravity of terrorists who seek to sow chaos. Sadly, we can confirm that Americans are among the victims," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said late Tuesday.
Nauret however reaffirmed the US’s continued support to the Afghan people and government.
Although Nauert did not specify how many Americans were killed or wounded during the siege on the hotel, she said the US government is in close contact with Afghan authorities regarding the investigation, and Washington stands firmly by the Kabul government.
"We express our deepest condolences to our American families and to all the victims of the attack," said Nauert, adding Washington is grateful to Afghan security forces for their rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, the bodies of at least seven Ukrainian nationals, who were killed in the attack, including four pilots, one flight engineer and two hostesses, were repatriated to the Ukraine on Wednesday.
Officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan have said that the attack on the hotel has had a devastating effect on the national aviation sector.
“The people of Afghanistan will never forget those who came here and served in a very difficult situation; these employees had served even during the Hajj flights,” said Mohammad Qasim Wafayee, head of civil aviation authority of Afghanistan.
Officials of Kam Air aviation company have said that the attack on the hotel and the killing of seven of its employees has forced the company to suspend almost half of all its domestic and international flights.
“We had strong assurances over security by the hotel, undoubtedly it is the negligence of government institutions that the lives of our employees were snatched away,” said Fareed Paikar, deputy CEO of Kam Air.
“The attack was perpetrated by those who do not believe in humanity, they are only here to create horror and chaos and to shed the blood of the people; we strongly condemn it,” said Mirwais Samadi, head of the consulate department of at the ministry of foreign affairs.
Following the 17-hour siege of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul this weekend, the Ukrainian government on Monday 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.
In addition to the seven Ukrainians, 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.