A Kabul suicide bomber has killed three Americans, along with 18 others in Saturday’s attack. The suicide bomber and two additional gunmen rushed into a popular restaurant in Afghanistan, a favorite with wealthy Afghans and foreign diplomats. The Taliban assault against the Kabul eatery killed 21 people, making it the deadliest attack on foreign visitors in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war in 2001.
The attack comes at a time when security has been crumbling and apprehension has been increasing among the Afghans over the future of their country as U.S. foreign forces make final arrangements to withdrawal from Afghan by year’s end.
Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, has deferred signing a compliance that would allow U.S. forces to extend their stay until after April 5 when the presidential elections would be held. Karzai criticized the U.S. while denouncing the Taliban attack, stating the U.S. and NATO have to target terrorism if they want the cooperation and support of the Afghan people. He went on to state the U.S. followed a plan that has been unsuccessful in the past ten years, although he did not explain what he expected the U.S. should do.
The United States Embassy confirmed the Kabul suicide bomber killed three Americans in Saturday’s suicide bombing. Formerly, the victims were identified as two American citizens who were working at the University of Afghanistan and a U.N. official identified another casualty as a Somali-American.
Other victims hail from countries around the world including two from Great Britain, two from Canada, two from Lebanon, and one each from Denmark, Russia, Malaysia and Pakistan. Among the casualties were financiers, political officers, and U.N. officials.
NATO, the U.N. Security Council, the European Union and the White House denounced the Kabul suicide bomber attack, which resulted in the death of three Americans and numerous other dignitaries.
Terrorists have regularly focused on foreign interests for their attacks in Kabul and around the country. September 8, 2012, was the former deadliest attack on civilians when eight South Africans and one Kyrgyz, all civilian employees of a plane company, were murdered in a suicide attack in a Kabul airport.
The attack on the restaurant began when the suicide bomber discharged his bomb at the front doorway of the restaurant, the area where the popular eatery was located contained a number of embassies, offices and homes of Afghani officials, and homes of non-governmental offices.
As pandemonium ensued, two gunmen rushed into the kitchen and began firing. They were stopped and killed by security guards.
The Taliban declared responsibility for the bombing, claiming the attack was payback for an earlier Afghan military action against insurgents in Parwan province, where many civilians were killed.
Taliban officials formerly reported the Parwan operation resulted in the death of a Taliban leader, three of the leader’s family members, seven Taliban soldiers and five people from a nearby home; however Taliban members are known for blowing up their numbers.
Since the restaurant is a common eatery for high-level diplomats, foreign officials, powerful bankers and other notable officials, it is layered in security. Sandbags are piled around the building to withstand a blast; patrons must enter through steel airlocks where they are subjected to a search before they are allowed to enter. Despite all the security, the Kabul suicide bomber killed three Americans.
By Deborah Baran