Jan 18, 2014, 10:39 PM
News Code: 81001245
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Iran condemns Friday terrorist explosion in Kabul seriously

Tehran, Jan 18, IRNA – Foreign Ministry spokeswoman here Saturday seriously condemned Friday terrorist explosion in Kabul which killed a number of Afghan citizens, foreign citizens and diplomats, including representative of International Monetary Fund and some UN staff workers.

“The objective of such aggressive and terrorist acts in Afghanistan is creating disturbance in the process of stability and security, and sabotage in the course of that country’s political process,” emphasized Marziyeh Afkham.

The foreign ministry speaker expressed certainty that the Afghan government and nation will consciously preserve their national unity and solidarity and leave behind this sensitive period of time of their country successfully.

A Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul, killing 21 people including three United Nations staff and the IMF's top representative in Afghanistan.

Gunmen burst into the Lebanese restaurant spraying diners with bullets after the bomber blew himself up near the entrance around 7.30 p.m. on Friday, just as people sat down to dinner, the Reuters reported.

Thirteen foreigners were among those killed, according to police, and details about the victims began to trickle through on Saturday.

After the initial blast, sporadic bursts of gunfire were heard over the next hour. The two gunmen inside the Lebanese restaurant, located in Kabul's diplomatic enclave, were shot dead by police, an Afghan official said.

Most foreign forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan this year after more than a decade of war. Afghanistan watchers fear the Taliban will intensify attacks in the run-up to an election in April to find a successor to President Hamid Karzai.

At odds with Washington over the terms of the bilateral security pact that governs the withdrawal, Karzai is still deliberating whether to allow some US troops to stay on.

If no agreement is reached, Afghan forces could be left to fight the insurgents on their own.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, calling it revenge for a US air strike earlier this week that had also drawn condemnation from Karzai as eight civilians were killed.