AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN

Afghanistan restaurant bombing kills two, including 12-year-old

A bomb attack targeted a French restaurant frequented by foreigners and wealthy Afghans in Kabul on Friday evening, leaving two people dead, including a 12-year-old child, and 15 wounded, police said.

The attack, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, targeted Le Jardin, which is owned by the governor of Kabul, a former official in the administration of former President Hamid Karzai.

Afghan police detained one suspect after conducting a search in the Taimani residential section of the Afghan capital.

The Taliban claimed that a suicide attack targeted a "restaurant of foreigners," but police and hospital officials said the victims, as of late Friday, were all Afghans.

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Health ministry officials said ambulances were delayed in reaching the scene because security officials had cordoned off the narrow, unpaved street where the restaurant was located.

Residents in a house two blocks from the attack described a heavy blast that left several of their  windows shattered on a night when temperatures were forecast to dip near freezing.

"The children were crying," said one resident, Daoud Bassia. "The sound reverberated throughout the neighborhood and across several neighboring streets."

With its high-priced menu that served foreigners and wealthy locals, Le Jardin was out of reach to the average Afghan. Such restaurants have seen their business drop in recent years as the city's security deteriorates, the economy remains stagnant and many foreigners have left the country.

Latifi is a special correspondent.

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