A car bomb ripped through a French restaurant in Kabul on New Year's Day killing at least two people and injuring 17 others. According to Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi, the two victims were civilians and included a teenager.

However, the fate of the assailants was not clear. A local journalist in a tweet said one assailant detonated his explosives inside the vehicle, another fled and one was detained. The suicide attack was claimed by the Taliban.

"The explosion happened in Qala-e-Fathullah neighbourhood of Kabul city. Apparently a restaurant has been attacked," interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP. Le Jardin restaurant, where the attack occurred, is popular among the city's expatriate community and aid workers, besides Afghan officials.

The restaurant is situated in an area that has a lot of guest houses in which foreigners live, Sediqqi said. The restaurant has several heavy metal doors and security checks.

The explosion from the blast was so loud that it shattered a number of windows in the neighbourhood. Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary said in a tweet that it was almost impossible to stop a car bomb even though Le Jardin is a secure spot.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the suicide attackers targeted a restaurant in Kabul owned by the "invaders".

On 22 December, six US soldiers were killed when a suicide attacker rammed an explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint Nato-Afghan patrol near Bagram airbase. Earlier in the month, insurgents killed six people, including two Spanish police officers, when they stormed a guest house attached to the Spanish embassy in Kabul.