Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy

Two Canadians among 21 killed in Afghan explosion

Afghan police forces assist an injured man at the site of an explosion in Kabul on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. A Taliban suicide bomber and two gunmen on Friday attacked a Lebanese restaurant that is popular with foreigners and affluent Afghans in Kabul, a brazen attack that left 16 dead, including two Canadians dining inside and two other gunmen, officials said.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini
January 18, 2014 - 9:10 AM

OTTAWA - Two accountants from a Gatineau, Que., firm were among those who died in a brutal suicide attack on Friday at a restaurant in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul.

Pierre Samson, the head of Samson and Associates, says two his employees — a man from Gatineau and another from Ottawa — were killed in the attack.

Samson says the two men were doing auditing work for the Canadian International Development Agency.

He says they were having dinner when the bomb went off.

Samson didn't identify the men because his firm is still trying to get in touch with family members.

"Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeted, cowardly terrorist attack today on a restaurant in Kabul," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's office said in an emailed statement.

"On behalf of all Canadians, we extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured in this horrible and senseless act of terror."

Afghan officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up outside La Taverna du Liban, which was filled with foreigners and affluent Afghans, while two gunmen snuck in through the back door and opened fire.

Afghan police said 21 people were killed, making it the deadliest violence against foreign civilians in the country since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir said Saturday that the victims included 13 foreigners and eight Afghans, and that the majority were civilians.

Three United Nations personnel were among those killed, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. The three were not identified. Britain's Foreign Office confirmed late Friday that a British national was among the dead.

The International Monetary Fund's representative in Afghanistan, Wabel Abdallah, also was among those killed.

Zahir said the three attackers were also killed during Friday's assault on the Lebanese restaurant.

The Taliban claimed responsibility within an hour of the attack. It's part of a stepped-up campaign of violence against foreign and government interests to send a message that the militants are not going anywhere as the U.S.-led coalition winds down its combat mission at the end of the year.

The bombing served as a reminder that although militant violence in the capital has dropped off in recent months, insurgents remain capable of carrying out attacks inside the most heavily guarded areas.

- With files from The Associated Press

Afghan health workers carry the dead body of a civilian after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.
Afghan health workers carry the dead body of a civilian after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
  • Saying goodbye to Kelowna’s perogy king
    KELOWNA – Whether you knew him from the slopes of Big White or his restaurant in downtown Kelowna, you never forgot the first time you tried Cecil’s perogies. Cecil Warwaruk move
  • Penticton RCMP stop suspected drug trafficker
    PENTICTON - There is one less drug dealer operating in the city following efforts by Penticton RCMP. Police spokesperson Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth says the detachment’s Targeted Enforceme
  • 'A dreadful idea took shape:' Father of twin boys killed in bobsled crash speaks
    CALGARY - An early morning text was the first warning to Jason Caldwell that something was wrong. "Jason. Do you know where your boys are?" He'd just had dinner with Evan
  • Man found guilty in brutal 2014 assault at Vernon bar
    VERNON - A man has been convicted of aggravated assault in relation to a brutal attack two years ago at a Vernon bar. Lucas Slizak, 25, was found guilty this week following a trial in Vernon
  • Penticton Indian Band elects new chief
    PENTICTON - The Penticton Indian Band has elected a new chief. Chad Eneas triumphed over incumbent Jonathan Kruger and fellow candidate Joe Jack at last night’s election, Oct. 19.

View Site in: Desktop | Mobile