A Taliban suicide bomber struck a restaurant popular with foreigners in Kabul, killing 21 people, including 13 foreigners. The deadliest attack against foreign civilians in the 13-year history of the Afghan war is bound to have a profound effect on the way expat workers operate in Kabul after years in which they had been relatively insulated from the insurgency, notes the Guardian. Among those killed were two U.S. citizens, two Britons, two Canadians, two Lebanese, a Dane, a Russian, a Malaysian, and a Pakistani, according to the Associated Press. The dead included three UN officials and the top IMF representative in the country.
It was a brutal attack. First a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of Taverna du Liban and then the attack continued over the next hour with two gunmen firing inside the restaurant until they were shot dead by police, according to Reuters. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it a retaliation for an Afghan military operation against insurgents in eastern Parwan province. The Taliban made it clear it targeted the restaurant because it was “frequented by high-ranking foreigners.” Indeed, Taverna du Liban “was a rare haven of relaxation for foreign diplomats, aid workers and Afghan officials in a gray city full of blast barriers and beggars,” notes the Washington Post that points out “wine and beer were served discreetly, in china teapots.”
Three security officials have been suspended as part of an investigation into the attack, the Afghan interior minister said, reports the BBC.