Two Americans Among 21 Killed In Kabul Restaurant Attack

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirmed early Saturday that Americans were among the dead after a coordinated Taliban attack. Updated: 4:50 a.m ET Saturday.

At least 21 people were killed Friday, most of them foreigners, in a well-coordinated Taliban assault on a restaurant popular with Westerners in Kabul, Afghanistan, officials said.

Afghan security forces personnel investigate at the site of the Friday’s suicide attack and shooting in Kabul. AP

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the restaurant at around 7:30 p.m., after which two gunmen rushed in and opened fire on the patrons dining inside.

Afghan police forces assist an injured man at the site of the explosion. AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini

Among the victims, 13 were believed to be foreigners. It was the deadliest violence against foreign civilians in the country since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago, the AP reported.

Afghan security forces arrive at the scene. Omar Sobhani / Reuters

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirmed two Americans were killed in the attack.

The United Nations confirmed four of its staff were among the dead.

Another victim was a representative of the International Monetary Fund in Afghanistan.

Wabel Abdallah, a 60-year-old Lebanese national and IMF representative in Afghanistan, killed in attack on Lebanese restaurant in Kabul.

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters)

The attack also claimed the life of a British national.

RT @_EmmaGH Foreign office confirms British national among #KabulAttack victims, no further details for now

— Amie Ferris-Rotman (@Amie_FR)

As well as two Canadian citizens.

CBC News has learned that 2 Canadians were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul. They were not government officials or members of military.

— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts)

The Taverna du Liban restaurant in the upmarket neighborhood of Wazir Akbar Khan is very popular with foreign journalists, diplomats, and Western aid workers.

Like many foreign journos, I've had dinner at Taverna du Liban many times. Hoping friends in Kabul are safe tonight.

— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila)

Devastated to hear about the attack at Taverna du Liban in Kabul, one of my favorite spots in the city:

— Marisa Mazria Katz (@MarisaMazriaK)

The Lebanese owner of the Taverna, Kamal Hamade who was a very popular face in Kabul, also died in the attack.

V V sad news Kabul. Our dear Lebanese friend Kamal, the kindest of hosts, was killed in #Taliban attack Kabul. #Afghanistan was his home.

— lyse doucet (@bbclysedoucet)

Shocked and very sad to hear that Taverna du Liban owner Kamal Hamade, a familiar face to many in #Kabul, was killed in tonight's attack

— Golnar Motevalli (@golnarM)

Many tweeted their concerns about Hamade’s safety before the news of his death was confirmed.

Really hope Kamal is ok, he would always give my little sister a whole cake to take home with her as he was fond of her. #prayingforkabul

— Miriam Arghandiwal (@_Maro)

Hearing Lebanese Taverna restaurant in Kabul was attacked tonight. Afghan friends who are covering, does anyone know if owner Kamel is okay?

— Atia Abawi (@AtiaAbawi)

Kamal’s daughter, Mona Hamade who studies in the UK, sought information about her father’s safety on Twitter as news of the attack broke.

The Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attack, said in a statement that those killed were German nationals.

“This evening around 7 p.m. in Kabul, [Wazir Akbar Khan] district, we attacked one of the restaurants with a suicide attack where foreign invaders were having their dinner.

In this attack we have used very heavy explosives which caused heavy losses to the enemy. According to our initial information, which we received, in this attack we attacked senior officials from the German military and government.”

The German foreign ministry said it could not confirm that Germans were involved.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said none of the dead included U.S. Embassy staff in Kabul.


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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at
Jon Passantino is a deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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