A Taliban attack on a hotel outside Kabul, in Afghanistan has left 17 people dead.

Out of those killed, at least six are reported to be civilians, with another four security guards.

Heavily armed insurgents stormed the Spozhmai hotel, taking hostages including dozens of women and children.

What followed was a 12 hour siege as militants and police battled, creating a cacophony of gunfire and explosions.

Omid Khan, a bakery worker who was near the scene, described the incident.

"I was working in the bakery when the fighting started. It was late night and my colleagues wanted to sleep but suddenly firing started around us, then I don't know what else happened."

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the hotel was used by wealthy Afghan's and foreigners for 'wild parties'.

The attacks follow an increasing level of violence in Afghanistan over the past few days. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has held a special session of parliament to discuss security issues in the country.

Written and Narrated by Alfred Joyner