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Afghan Taliban claims suicide bomb attack at Kabul restaurant

English.news.cn   2014-01-18 03:15:48

KABUL, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Taliban insurgent group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a restaurant frequented by foreigners earlier on Friday evening in Wazir Akbar Khan, a diplomatic enclave in central Kabul.

At least five people were injured after a man detonated his explosive jacket close to the entrance of Lebanese Restaurant, located in street 14 of the district, security sources were quoted by local media as saying.

"The exact number of the casualties is unknown. The area is cordoned off by police forces shortly after the blast. A search and cleanup operation at the compound and surrounding buildings is still going on," Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told Xinhua, adding the bomber was killed on the spot.

An investigation is launched into the incident and details will be released to the media afterwards, he noted.

Following the blast, which occurred at around 19:15 local time, several gunmen tried to enter and seize the compound, earlier reports said.

The restaurant is frequented by foreigners.

A purported Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, told local media via phone from undisclosed location that the militants, who have been waging an insurgency since their ouster in late 2001, had conducted the bombing.

He said several foreigners were present at the restaurant when the attack occurred, adding several foreigners were killed and wounded in the incident.

Local TV channels' footage showed ambulances and police vehicles carrying the injured people to hospital.

Several foreign embassies are located close to the site of the blast.

The latest bomb attack underscores the challenges that Afghan army and police faced as they took the full operational lead from foreign troops in June last year.

The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from foreign troops by the end of the year.

More than 86,000 NATO-led troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are being deployed in Afghanistan at present.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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