01/18/2014, 00.00
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Taliban attack on a Kabul restaurant : 21 civilians killed

The victims were foreigners and Afghans and include the local representative of the IMF and some UN officials . The Islamists immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, explaining that the main target was foreign customers. The police killed the two attackers.

Kabul ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - 21 people were killed in the latest Taliban attack in Kabul last night, in a well-known restaurant. Among them, 13 people were of foreign nationality - Canadian , Russian and English - and eight Afghans civilians . The local representative of the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) was among the dead: a native of Lebanon , the man called Wabel Abdallah , was 60 years old and held the position since 2008. The identity of the other victims is still unknown, but four seem to have been officials of the United Nations.

The restaurant targeted is called La Taverna du Liban and is located in the district of Wazir Akbar Khan - the most protected as it also houses embassies and international NGOs .  The area is very popular in the capital, especially among foreigners , businessmen and Afghan officials . A message sent by Zabihullah Mujahed , spokesman for the Taliban, claimed the attack and that the target was the foreign customers of the restaurant.

According to police investigations, one of the bombers blew himself up in front of the restaurant. After a brief shoot out with Afghan security forces , his companions broke into the kitchen of the restaurant and started shooting . The police then reached them, killing them all.

The attack comes just when NATO troops (mostly U.S. ) prepare to leave Afghanistan , after more than ten years of war and almost daily attacks. President Hamid Karzai has not yet given approval to an agreement that provides for the reduced presence of foreign troops after the end of 2014. Concern is also mounting regarding security ahead of next April, when the population will vote to choose a successor to Karzai.


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