UN and IMF staff killed in Kabul restaurant attack

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UN and IMF staff killed in Kabul restaurant attack

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At least 21 people, most of them foreigners, and including UN and IMF staff, have been killed in a suicide and gun attack in the Afghan capital Kabul.

The Taliban says it was behind the bloodshed at a popular Lebanese restaurant. A suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance. Then gunmen entered and sprayed diners with bullets.

“When I was in the kitchen, we heard some explosion outside and then we escaped,” said Suliman, a Lebanese national and cook at the restaurant. “All the guys escaped and after that, I went to the roof. I stayed back…two or three hours.”

Fellow cook Ahmad Fawad also ran to the rooftop,then jumped into a neighbouring house and made his escape by running away down a nearby street.

“A bomber blew himself up at the gate and the two others were shooting people inside the restaurant,” he said.

The 13 foreign victims include two Britons – one of them a candidate in the forthcoming European elections.

Others killed include three UN employees and Lebanese national Wabel Abdallah, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s office in Kabul.

“This is tragic news, and we at the Fund are all devastated,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Wabel’s family and friends, as well as the other victims of this attack.”

Security concerns have been rising in Afghanistan as most foreign forces prepare to leave after more than a decade of war.