White House condemns deadly Taliban attack on Kabul restaurant

Jan. 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The White House Saturday condemned a Taliban suicide attack on a Kabul restaurant that killed at least 21 people, including two Americans.

Three suicide bombers attacked the Lebanese Taverna restaurant in the 14th district of Kabul. Hashmat Stanikzai, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said 13 foreign nationals were among those killed, CNN reported.

"There is no possible justification for this attack, which has killed innocent civilians, including Americans, working every day to help the Afghan people achieve a better future with higher education and economic assistance at the American University, United Nations, International Monetary Fund and other organizations," the White House said in a statement.

"We call again on the Taliban to put down their arms and begin peace talks, which is the surest way to end the conflict in a peaceful manner," the statement sdaid.

Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Omr Daudzai said the head of the 10th district police station, the head of the criminal investigation department and a police commander have been suspended and will be investigated for negligence, Khaama Press reported.

The dead included four members of the United Nations' United Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and Wabel Abdullah, the representative of the International Monetary Fund in Afghanistan.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul said Saturday two Americans were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said was in response to a U.S. air strike in Parwan province in which at least 14 people, including women and children, were killed.

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