Suicide bombing hits restaurant in Afghan capital Kabul

by Reuters
Friday, 1 January 2016 16:12 GMT

(Corrects second paragraph to make clear attack on Lebanese restaurant was almost two years ago, not one year)

* Attack targets French restaurant popular with foreigners

* Police say at least five wounded

* Latest attack comes as efforts build for peace talks

By Sayed Hassib

KABUL, Jan 1 (Reuters) - The Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Friday at a Kabul restaurant popular with foreigners and Afghan officials, which police said wounded at least five people.

The latest in a series of suicide bombings in the Afghan capital targeted "Le Jardin", one of a small number of restaurants in Kabul still frequented by foreigners. It came almost two years after 21 people, including 13 foreigners, were killed in an attack on a popular Lebanese restaurant in the city.

Large numbers of police and security force personnel blocked off the site, which was partially illuminated by flames from the explosion.

A police official said five people had been wounded, while a Taliban Twitter account said many "invaders" had been wounded or killed.

Earlier this week, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack near Kabul airport that killed one person and wounded 33 others. Another attack a week earlier killed six U.S soldiers patrolling near Bagram air base outside Kabul.

The attacks have coincided with efforts to revive a peace process with the Taliban that broke down in July after news came out that the movement's leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had died two years earlier.

Officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China are due to meet in Pakistan on Jan. 11 for a meeting aimed at laying the groundwork for talks with the insurgents.

However the Taliban, which is struggling to contain bloody factional fighting over the leadership succession, has so far refused to take part while foreign forces remain in Afghanistan. (Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi and James Mackenzie; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Suicide bombing hits restaurant in Afghan capital Kabul

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