Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

At a popular Kabul restaurant, the front lines of Afghan war  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 23/01/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) For Kabul’s expatriate crowd, a visit to a restaurant in the Afghan capital’s well-guarded diplomatic area was one of the few attractions of living in the war-ravaged nation

Not any more

Last week, a suicide attack by Taleban insurgents at a popular Lebanese restaurant killed 21 people, including 13 foreigners, among them the IMF’s chief representative in Afghanistan and three United Nations workers. It was the deadliest attack on foreign civilians since Afghanistan’s civil war began in 2001

Major international organizations have placed Kabul’s restaurants out of bounds for their staff, possibly making it a turning point for the few thousand diplomats, aid workers and journalists living there

Even before the strike, there were doubts about the future of international organizations in Afghanistan as concern mounted that with the withdrawal of most foreign troops this year, the security environment would only get worse

“We’ve had tragedies before. But when it happens at this time, you’ve got organizations thinking about their liability and exposure, I wonder what the ripple effects of this one are going to be,” said a senior NATO official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media

On Friday night, the busiest night of the week, a Taleban militant set off explosives on his person outside the Taverna du Liban restaurant, and two others rushed in behind with automatic rifles, spraying diners with bullets

The attack is likely to quicken the exodus of foreigners from Afghanistan, but it remains to be seen how deep the impact will be on development projects and aid

The government relies on aid for roughly three-quarters of its budget and its army is almost entirely dependent on foreign money. Donors have pledged more than 16 billion over four years in future aid through to 2016

“What would impact operations ... is if internationals become a target because of the publicity that’s been generated,” said a senior UN official. “That would affect aid delivery.

Adding to anxiety, President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign a bilateral deal with the United States that would allow some US forces to remain after 2014. Washington is threatening to pull all of its troops out, leaving Afghanistan’s fledging army to fight the Taleban alone

Major international organizations clamped strict curbs on their staff this week, banning most from non-essential travel and the use of private guesthouses, including those with armed guards. Restaurants were out of bounds until further notice

The Sufi Restaurant, another popular Kabul dining spot among expatriates, now sits silent and almost deserted

“I wanted to show pure Afghan culture and pure Afghan food to foreigners,” said owner Mohammad Azim Popal. “After this incident, neither foreigners nor locals have come to the restaurant.

At Finest supermarket, long a draw for expatriates even though it has been bombed in the past, guards at the door were thrown into panic on Monday at the arrival of journalists with cameras, fearing they might contain hidden explosives

The Gandamack Lodge — a restaurant and hotel that is legendary among foreigners in Kabul — was deserted at lunchtime. Staff refused to speak to journalists and the owner did not respond to a request for an interview

A single defiant customer turned up at Sufi Restaurant in the early afternoon and ordered a cup of tea

“I believe if you are afraid in this country, you should leave ... personally, I am not making any changes,” said the customer, Simran Kaur Lohnes, a 42-year-old German who co-founded Afghan Opportunity Business Services, a for-profit organization that advises firms on tax, legal and other matters

But Lohnes was gloomy about the future, predicting insurgents would step up attacks ahead of a presidential election in April, potentially giving incumbent Karzai an excuse to keep his grip on power.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 24 2014 - Pharrell joins line-up for New Years Eve bash in DubaiKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The multiple Grammy award winner is just one of a handful of artists set to take part in the show that will be broadcast live to more than 130 countries. It’s fair ...

 Nov 24 2014 - UAE- Why Aniston is one up on Kim KardashianKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Aniston who posed nude for Rolling Stone magazine in 1996 says I was an original. Shunning the hype around reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s derriere picture Jennifer ...

 Nov 24 2014 - UAE- Football legend Gary Lineker on playing presentingKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) England football ace Gary Lineker reveals his tricky transition from playing to presenting and why hes envious of the modern game. As an English person meeting Gary ...

 Nov 24 2014 - Algerian Prime Minister Leaves DohaQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalik Sellal left Doha on Monday, wrapping up an official visit to the country.      Sellal was seen off upon departure at Doha International Airport by ...

 Nov 24 2014 - Oman Oil subsidiaries sign USD44.15m deals with SMEsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman Oil Company's (OOC) said that its subsidiaries and affiliates have signed 35 contracts with local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with an estimated worth of USD44.15 million, Times ...

 Nov 24 2014 - Kuwait's exports of crude oil to China hit 27.8 percent growth in OctMENAFN
(MENAFN) Kuwait's crude oil exports to China grew 27.8 percent in October from a year earlier to 986,000 tons, equivalent to around 233,000 barrels per day (bpd), data showed, QNA reported.Kuwait's ...

 Nov 24 2014 - GCC petrochemical revenue hits USD89.4b In 2013MENAFN
(MENAFN) According to the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA), GCC's petrochemical industry posted USD89.4 billion in revenue in 2013, increasing by USD6 billion compared with 2012's ...

 Nov 24 2014 - Oman considers spending cuts, raising taxMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's government is reportedly considering spending cuts and raising taxes, including the tax on liquefied natural gas exports, as the Gulf country attempts to deal with the drop in its ...

 Nov 24 2014 - Qatar's Rolls Royce sales up 37 percent in Q3MENAFN
According to Rolls Royce, Qatar has become the fastest growing market for the car manufacturer in the Middle East, after it has registered an increase by 37 percent in sales during the July-September ...

 Nov 24 2014 - Saudi quarry production to reach 327m in 2014MENAFN
(MENAFN) The GCC construction sector has been steadily growing for the last two decades led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, which resulted in Saudi deciding to increase its quarry ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help