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Afghanistan: Foreign civilians targeted in Taliban restaurant killings

Afghanistan: Foreign civilians targeted in Taliban restaurant killings
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A Taliban suicide squad has killed 21 people at a restaurant in Kabul in the deadliest attack on foreign civilians since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Thirteen of the dead were foreigners including a Briton due to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming European elections. The UN lost three employees.

“We strongly condemn these sorts of attacks,” said Ari Gaitanis, the United Nations spokesperson in Afghanistan.

“It is unacceptable and they must come to an immediate halt. In terms of the UN’s commitment to Afghanistan, this won’t change. The UN here, of course, is committed. It has been for the past many decades now in Afghanistan and remains committed to helping Afghanistan on the path to peace and stability.”

The IMF’s top official in the country also died when the bomber blew himself up and gunmen sprayed diners with bullets.

The Lebanese restaurant was popular with expats and affluent Afghans.

“This is a level of threat that we have a good knowledge of and we are really working hard to make sure that we can prevent this or we can eliminate the roots of these kinds of attacks,” said Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi.

With tensions high as most foreign forces prepare to leave this year, Afghan security personnel are now guarding restaurants used by international visitors.