Death toll mounts in Kabul attack that left American dead

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A senior Afghan government official said Thursday that a total of 14 people, including nine foreigners, were killed when Taliban attackers stormed a Kabul guesthouse the night before.

The official said that among the nine foreigners killed in the stunning assault, seven were men, and two women. He spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.

An American, four Indians, an Italian, a British-Afghan national, two Pakistanis and one person from Kazakhstan were killed,

CBS News' Mukhtar Ahmad said the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was withholding the American victim's identity until the family could be notified.

Five Afghan men and one woman were also among the dead, and seven more were wounded, including one Afghan policeman.

Throughout the standoff, sporadic gunfire echoed around the guesthouse in a central neighborhood that is home to United Nations compounds and a foreign-run hospital. At one point two explosions could be heard and four ambulances later arrived to the scene.

Amin Habib, a U.S. citizen from Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that a party was going on at the hotel to honor a Canadian when the gunmen stormed the guesthouse. He said dozens of people, including foreigners and U.S. citizens, were inside the hotel at the time.

Hours after the standoff began, fire trucks arrived at the scene, with firefighters saying they were called in to clear and secure the area. A number of people were seen leaving the building.

Earlier Wednesday, police officers freed some 20 people trapped in the guesthouse, but others had remained inside, according to Zia Massoud, an Afghan government official.

The hotel has both guest rooms for visitors and a residential area for those who live full time in Kabul, including foreign aid workers.