The Taliban launched a well-coordinated attack on the Taverna di Liban restaurant, which is located in one of the most secure neighborhoods in Kabul, Afghanistan. Foreign nationals and aid workers have reportedly been principal clients of the restaurant, which had led to the Taverna di Liban being targeted by the Taliban.
The owner of the Taverna di Liban, Kamal Hamade, “made the best chocolate cake in Kabul, the best Lebanese food and, he thought, the best evacuation plan,” according to the BBC’s Lyse Doucet, who has dined at the restaurant and interviewed Hamade. “But the plan wasn’t good enough to save him and others who died with him when the Taliban attacked his Taverna du Liban restaurant tucked away in a quiet street of one of the Afghan capital’s oldest neighbourhoods. But his safety measures did save many lives.”
The attack on the Taverna di Liban began when an attacker blew up a personal explosive device at the restaurant entrance. Two other attackers apparently then entered the restaurant and began shooting restaurant clients indiscriminately.
Kamal Hamade reportedly herded his clients upstairs to safety, before arming himself and returning downstairs to fight the assailants. Hamade was killed in the attack.
Twenty-one foreign and Afghan civilians, including Hamade, were killed at the Taverna di Liban. Two of the foreign civilians who died worked at the American University in Afghanistan.
One of civilians who died was Lexie Kamerman, a young woman from Chicago who had earned an undergraduate degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, “She knew the risks, but Lexie Kamerman’s family and friends said the Chicago native would not be deterred from her goal: Helping young women in Afghanistan improve their lives through education.”