The IMF has reported that its resident respresentative in Afghanistan – 60-year-old Wabel Abdallah – is among the 15 people killed in a coordinated assault at a Kabul restaurant by the Taliban. The upscale taverna is well-known to be frequented by foreigners and ex-pats. As Reuters reports, Abdallah had been leading the IMF’s office in the Afgan capital since 2008 and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said “this is tragic news, and we at the fund are all devastated.”
A resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was among at least fourteen people killed on Friday during a coordinated assault on an upscale restaurant popular with foreigners in the Afghan capital of Kabul, the Fund confirmed.
“We have just learned that our dear colleague and friend Wabel Abdallah, our Resident Representative in Afghanistan, was killed in an attack at a restaurant in Kabul in which many people were killed,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “This is tragic news, and we at the Fund are all devastated.”
Lagarde added: “Our hearts go out to Wabel’s family and friends, as well as the other victims of this attack.”
Wabel Abdallah, 60, was a Lebanese national who was appointed Resident Representative in June 2008. He joined the Fund from the Central Bank of Lebanon in 1993, and has held various IMF positions, particularly posts relating to IMF activities and operations in the Middle East.
As AFP reports, this appears coordinated…
It was another friendly evening at the Taverna du Liban restaurant in Kabul, with Afghans and foreigners enjoying the generous helpings of food when a blast exploded outside and gunmen burst in, intent on killing everyone they could find.
The Taverna was one of the few social venues in Kabul where locals and foreigners mixed with ease, enjoying its Lebanese staples such as hummus, falafel, shawarma kebabs and bakhlava dessert.
One cook recalled his dramatic escape from the carnage.
“I was sitting with my friends in the kitchen when an explosion happened and smoke filled the kitchen,” kebab cook Abdul Majid told AFP while being treated for leg fractures in a nearby hospital.
“A man came inside shouting and he started shooting. One of my colleagues was shot and fell down. I ran to the roof and threw myself to the neighbouring property.”
The restaurant’s wide range of customers included Afghan businessmen, government officials, foreign diplomats, development consultants and aid workers.
Of course, the assumption is that this is a random attack on an ex-pat and foreigner frequented taverna and not a more specific targeted attack on the people that really pull the strings all over the world. We can only hope that the Greeks don’t get any ideas…
However, as Bloomberg reports, it seems more targeted…
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Kabul restaurant filled with foreigners and affluent Afghans, while two gunmen snuck in through the back door and opened fire Friday in a brazen dinnertime attack that killed 16people, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility within an hour of the attack against La Taverna du Liban, 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.