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UPD Two Greek pilots survive Kabul hotel attack, FM does not confirm death of another Greek

One Greek is reportedly among the 18 victims of the attack in Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on Saturday, media quoted a relevant report by the BBC and therefore there is no more information about the identity of the Greek. Fourteen foreigners are confirmed to have died, along with four Afghans.

Two more Greeks escaped death, private Alpha TV reported late Sunday. The two are pilots who managed to hide during the attack.

UPDATE:

The Greek Foreign Ministry doe snot confirm the death of one Greek during the attack. However, it confirms that two Greek pilots are well and safe.

Greek media report the names of the two pilots as Vassilis Vassiliou and Michalis Poulikakos.

Vassiliou described to Star TV the dramatic moments he experienced and how he managed to escape death when the attackers came to his room in the 5th floor of the hotel. He said he heard the shooting, saw security guards running away  and heard how the attackers broke into the room next to his.

He opened the balcony doors so that the attackers would think he had fled, then put one of the mattresses behind the door, turned over one of the beds and held it over himself, some 10 cm above the floor. The attacker shot at the other bed.

Relatives of Poulikakos told Alpha TV that he hid in the bathroom with two pillows when he heard the gunfire. He escaped death because of a last minute change by the hotel management. They moved him to 4th floor  form the 5th where the majority of the victims were. The pilot was speaking with his wife and he was in the hotel lobby when the attacked started. “He told me he was hearing gunfire and explosion,” his wife said. Despite the situation he managed to reach his room and seek refuge.

Earlier KTG reported citing the BBC story:

An eyewitness has told the BBC of the terrifying moment gunmen burst into Intercontinental Hotel restaurant in Kabul on Saturday.

The man, who is not being named for security reasons, said he was spared after saying he was an Afghan. “Where are the foreigners?” they shouted.

The interior minister said the recent decision to transfer security to a private company had been a mistake.

Some 160 people were rescued after Afghan troops fought throughout the night to regain control of the building.

Three attackers were also killed in the siege, officials said. Ten people, including four civilians, were injured.

Kabul police told the BBC that nine Ukrainians, one German, one Greek and one Kazakh citizen had been confirmed dead. Two victims have yet to be identified.

Afghan airline Kam Air says a number of its employees were killed and some are still missing.

The Taliban, which targeted the hotel in 2011, says it was behind the latest attack. A spokesman said in a statement quoted by AFP that the group had “killed tens of foreign invaders and their puppets”.

The gunmen burst into the six-floor hotel at around 21:00 local time (16:30 GMT) on Saturday evening, as guests were enjoying dinner.

The eyewitness told the BBC he was having dinner with his son when the gunmen began firing into the air with small arms.

They killed a woman – believed to be a foreigner – and turned the gun on the eyewitness himself.

He shouted “I’m Afghan”. One of the gunmen shouted that they didn’t kill Afghans and demanded to know “Where are the foreigners?” The men then ran out of the room to look for them.

full story BBC

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