On the 20. January 2018 a Taliban command assails the luxury Intercontinental hotel in Kabul, which is particularly popular with foreign guests. 16 hours, the terrorists are holed up in the Hotel before being killed by security forces. The Afghan government speaks then of 18 Victims, 14 guests and four Taliban terrorists. But that is a gross understatement. According to matching media reports at least 40 people get killed in the attack. The Terror-command inventory, according to the communication of the Taliban, made up of five men. Witnesses have detected more terrorists.
One who survived the brutal Assault, the Greek Pilot Vasileios General. The “BBC” he told his story.
Vasileios General is a Pilot with the Afghan airline Kam Air and has checked out this Saturday, like every time in the past few months at the Intercontinental. The next day, his return flight. His Suite is on the fifth floor, room 522. In the evening, he is meeting up with a friend and colleague down in the Hotel Restaurant for dinner. However, contrary to their custom, the two men go at half past nine to eat, but exceptionally as early as six. The decision for the earlier dinner is the first chance, which ensures that the father of a family will survive the next few hours.
General is at half past eight back to his room. He’s doing some phone calls. As he got off the phone just before nine with his native Athens, he hears a loud Bang in the Lobby – the Horror begins. General rushes to the balcony to see what’s going on. At the bottom he sees a blood mass of bloodstained man. He heard shots in the Hotel and outside it – in that Moment, he realized that he had a huge luck, as he went earlier to eat. And he says to himself: “Okay, Vasileios, you have to do something to survive.”
During the terrorist murders, he thought quickly
The Pilot now benefits that he completed for years, safety training and even courses. He was so conditioned, he writes that he set, even in cinemas and Restaurants, close to the exit. It was his second nature. Now, in a Kabul hotel room, he thought quickly: He closes the door, opens the balcony and is related to the knotted sheets and bedding on the balcony railing, in order for the attacker to believe that he had roped, if you storm into the room. He is one of the two mattresses against the door as a protection against grenades. A bed, he aimed so that it looks used, after all, he’s hiding in the dark room behind the curtains. One and a half hours he spends in his lair. As he learns later, the Taliban in this time, all the people you killed in the Restaurant, in the Lobby and the first floors caught and could not escape.
Worth reading! the
BBC News – ‘The bed that saved me from the Taliban’ https://t.co/j45RDMAPP3
— Mª del Mar Illescas (@mar_illescas) January 21, 2019
Finally, the General sounds, such as the floors of storms up, he hears her steps on the roof and how you shoot with their Kalashnikovs on the helicopter of the Afghan security forces. Then The attacker can reach the fifth floor. Take the next room, number 521, in hardware. It serves you during the commando action as a surgery center.
The next goal of the attackers room 522, where the General is helpless behind a Curtain. First, you fire through the door. Is General painfully aware that his hiding place is no good. He throws himself on the floor and crawls under one of the beds. As the attackers opened the door with violence, thinks the familial father, that his end has come. One of the men immediately runs to the balcony – the false trail with the knotted bed sheets seems to work. Then you fire a shot from a gun: “I thought of my family, to the faces of my children and the good and bad moments of my life,” he writes about this Moment. Later, he will notice that you have fired the shot on the other side of the bed and underneath it looked. It is the second Moment, in which he escape from the death.
He hears the cries of the victims, the shoot
But the Terror is far from over. The next spends hours in General under the bed. He is a witness, as the terrorists shoot the rooms to comb through, and the guests. Always with a shot. He hears the cries of the victims and the laughter of the killer, he writes.
around three o’clock in the morning, the Taliban fire place in some of the rooms on the fifth floor. Smoke penetrates in the room 522. As a General listens to the finally, for a long time nothing more, does he trust out of his hiding place. He now fears to die in the fire. On the outside of the wall, he discovered a TV cable hanging on the building down to the floor. From the balcony, he tries to take you to test whether you carry the weight. At the Moment, as he reaches for the cables, hit two balls behind him in the Window glass – General suspected a sniper of the security forces, holds him for a terrorist. The Plan, to the cables to climb down, he.
He needs a new hiding place. This time he squeezes into the bed box, offering just enough space for a human. To protect yourself from the smoke that could possibly be stronger, he Tinkers the breathing filter off his T-Shirt. He cuts it into small strips and places them over the nose and mouth. Prior to that, he has sprinkled you with water and milk – it enhances the Filter effect. He has learned in the safety training. And then this: One of the men sits down on the bed, spits on the ground and giving instructions, until he himself goes to the balcony to fire with his Kalashnikov.
The attackers had no idea of his presence
In this Moment Vasileious says inner voice: “I’m not going to die on this day”. He feels safe in his hiding place. The attacker unaware of his presence.
What do not know General: It takes hours still, until he is freed. The martyrdom is far from the end. The security forces have, in the meantime, drive the tanks and fire on the room on the fifth floor, where they suspect the Taliban fighters. In the room next door takes a tank shell and destroyed the room completely. At six o’clock in the morning, the terrorists set fire again. Again, billowing smoke in the room 522, where the Greek Pilot is in the bed box wedged. This time rireal it different. General believes that they burn the bodies of their victims. The smoke is so dense that he is once again forced to leave his hiding place. He’s in luck. No Terrorist is in its vicinity. Suddenly he hears zersplitterndes glass. The security forces are trying to extinguish the fire in the Hotel, the hard jet of water smashed the Windows, when it hits you. General is also soaking wet, at temperatures just below the freezing point, can be very uncomfortable. The fire is deleted and the Pilot crawls back to his lair.
At the end of the last Taliban ammunition
The next few hours he becomes a witness, as the security forces advance slowly but steadily in the Hotel. He hears gunfire, grenades will be thrown on the hotel hallway. The attacker, who is barricaded in the adjacent room, late in the morning the ammunition. Then the Moment of liberation comes. Now men are in the hotel hallway and call out “police” with an Afghan accent. General doesn’t trust them and remains silent. Only when you call, in English, “Police”, he frees himself, screaming from his hiding place. The men turn their guns on him because they keep him at first for one of the terrorists. When he reveals himself, can believe in the men it is hardly.
One of his deliverer is so impressed that he shoots down in front of the Hotel is still a common photo and General. For his family, he is risen from the dead. The authorities had informed his family that all of the surviving guests of the Hotel had been evacuated – Vasileios General was not among them. He had survive busy.
source: “BBC News”, “tagesschau.de”, “aljazeera.com”