3 bombers among 17 dead in Kabul attack
KABUL (Pajhwok): Seventeen people, including three suicide bombers, were killed following a blast and a gun-battle at a restaurant frequented by foreigners in the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic enclave in downtown Kabul late on Friday, officials said.
The group suicide attack began around 7:20pm when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate of a Lebanese restaurant in the third steet on the 14th road of the diplomatic enclave.
Kabul police chief Mohammad Zahir told reporters at the scene the attack involved three suicide bombers and all of them had been killed.
One attacker blew himself up in front of the restaurant, allowing two others to enter the building, he said. The two attackers were killed during an exchange of fire with security forces, he said.
He said 14 people, excluding the attackers, had been killed and four others wounded in the attack. Most of the dead and wounded were guards and workers of the restaurant that is popular with foreign citizens and diplomats based in Kabul, he said, but did not explain if they were Afghans or foreigners.
But some sources said the dead also included some foreigners.
After the attack, deputy interior minister Ayub Salangi, the ministry spokesman, Siddiqui Siddique and other officials arrived at the attack site.
A Pajhwok reporter at the scene said Afghan Local Police personnel and commando forces had cordoned off the area and were not allowing anyone to in there.
Siddique told Pajhwok Afghan News there were three attackers and all of them had been killed.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the coordinated attack, saying a large number of foreigners, all Germans, had been killed.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, asserting responsibility for the suicide blast, said most of the Germans killed and wounded were high-ranking officials.
Wazir Akbar Khan district houses many embassies and restaurants catering for expatriates.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the situation was now under control.
Eyewitness Abdul Aziz told Pajhwok Afghan News it was a huge blast followed by sporadic gunfire that lasted 20 minutes.
Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told Pajhwok Afghan News a single suicide attack struck the Lebanese restaurant.
He said police had cordoned off the site and a number of people injured in the attack had been rushed to hospital.
A number of foreigners were believed to be present at the Lebanese hotel at the time of the attack.
Earlier, deputy interior Minister Ayub Salangi told reporters that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the restaurant and denied if any gun-battle had taken place.
He said it were police who fired into the air, adding a number of people had been injured in the blast, but stopped short of going into details.
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