Gunmen burst into Kabul's luxury Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, shooting at guests and staff and setting the building on fire, officials said.
Gunmen killed at least five people and wounded eight others in the attack, an official said, as the eleven hours-long siege continues.
"Five are dead," an official with the Afghan spy agency told AFP, adding hostages have been released.
Special forces were lowered by helicopters onto the roof of the landmark hilltop hotel during the night-time siege, interior ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP, adding two attackers had been killed.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest assault in the war-torn Afghan capital that followed a series of security warnings in recent days to avoid hotels and other locations frequented by foreigners.
00:02 (GMT+4) At least 15 people are reportedly killed and more than dozens other injured after the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital city came under terrorist attack on Saturday.
Reports say at least four gunmen entered the building before police cordoned off the area.
Special forces were attempting to engage the gunmen, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.
Attackers have taken several hostages in the hotel, according to local Tolo News agency who cited Kabul police.
An official at the Afghan spy agency told an international news agency that the gunmen were “shooting at guests”.
22:19 (GMT+4) A group of insurgents stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Bagh-e-Bala area in Kabul city at about 9.20 pm on Saturday evening.
According to interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish police have cordoned off the area and are trying to bring the situation under control.
However, heavy gunfire is ongoing.
Unconfirmed reports indicate at least one suicide bomber was involved and attackers have used hand grenades and automatic weapons in the attack.
Security officials said it is believed that some people have been taken hostage by the attackers.
According to TOLOnews journalist Gulabuddin Ghubar, who is close to the scene, there are an unknown number of attackers in the hotel who are reportedly holed up in the kitchen and in some rooms.
The attackers have also set fire to parts of the hotel.
Residents in the area report a high volume of ambulances at the scene but the area has been cordoned off by security forces.
No details have yet been released on casualties.