World

IMF, U.N. Staff Among 21 Killed In Kabul Restaurant Attack

NPR | Jan. 20, 2014 10:19 a.m.

Contributed By:

L. Carol Ritchie

Afghanistan security forces help an injured man from the scene of the attack, where at least 21 — mostly foreigners — were killed.

Afghanistan security forces help an injured man from the scene of the attack, where at least 21 — mostly foreigners — were killed.

AP, Massoud Hossaini

A suicide attack at a Kabul restaurant popular with foreign nationals killed at least 21 people, including a senior official with the International Monetary Fund and four United Nations employees.

The attackers exploded a bomb at the restaurant gates, clearing the way for two gunmen to enter and start shooting. Afghan security forces killed the gunment in a shootout.

Some 13 foreign nationals were among the dead, CNN reported, including Canadians, Lebanese and a British contractor.

The Taliban claimed responsibility in an email, saying the attackers targeted a gathering of foreign diplomats, according to the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ noted that the deadly bombing was likely to drive more foreign nationals and aid workers from the country as the U.S. continues its pullout.

The UN called it a “gross violation of international humanitarian law.’

The restaurant, the Taverna du Liban, is located near many NGO offices. The owner, Kamal Hamade, was killed in the attack, says Lyse Doucet of the BBC.

Doucet credits Hamade, who was Lebanese, with safety measures which saved many lives Friday.

“Kamal Hamade made the best chocolate cake in Kabul, the best Lebanese food and, he thought, the best evacuation plan,” Doucet writes. “Kamal did everything possible to make his Taverna restaurant a home away from home for many Kabul residents.”

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