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Afghanistan security probe after Kabul restaurant raid

20 January, 2014

KABUL: A number of Afghan officials have been suspended as an investigation is carried out into a suicide bomb and gun attack in Kabul that killed 21 people, Afghan media reported on Sunday.

The Taliban has admitted targeting a Lebanese restaurant, leaving 13 foreigners and eight Afghans dead.

Among the victims were a local IMF head and Canadian, American, UK, Lebanese, Russian and Danish citizens.

The Afghan interior minister has warned security officials in the capital that negligence will not be tolerated.

Mohammad Omar Daudzai told Afghan TV that the head of the precinct in which the attack took place, and two other officials had been suspended. "They will be investigated as part of a probe into the incident that took place last night."

A suicide attacker detonated his explosives outside the gate of the heavily fortified Taverna du Liban, Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said. Two gunmen then entered the restaurant and started "indiscriminately killing" people inside, he added.

Wabel Abdallah, the 60-year-old Lebanese head of the International Monetary Fund's Afghanistan office, was killed, along with the restaurant's popular Lebanese owner, Kamal Hamade.

His restaurant, in Kabul's Wazir Akbar Khan area, had come under attack before and was considered a favourite destination for foreign nationals, diplomats and aid workers.

A Taliban statement indicated the restaurant had been targeted because it was frequented by high-ranking foreigners and served alcohol.

End.

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