KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Kabul restaurant filled with foreigners and affluent Afghans, while two gunmen snuck in through the back door and opened fire Friday in a brazen dinnertime attack that killed 16 people, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack against La Taverna du Liban, part of a stepped-up campaign of violence against foreign and government interests as the U.S.-led coalition winds down its combat mission at the end of the year.
Security officials said the assault began with the suicide bomber detonating his explosives at the front door of the restaurant, located in an area housing several embassies, nongovernmental organizations and the homes and offices of Afghan officials. As chaos ensued, the two other attackers entered through the kitchen and began shooting. They were later killed by security guards, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said.
Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir said the 16 people killed were all inside the restaurant. Officials said at least four other people were wounded.
Three unidentified United Nations personnel were among those killed, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.