UA grad killed in Kabul suicide attack
A 27-year-old graduate of the University of Arizona was killed in a suicide bombing Friday in Kabul. Chicago native Lexie Kamerman received a master's in Education from the UA, and was working at the American University of Afghanistan.
Kamerman was among 21 people killed when a Taliban suicide bomber and a gunman attacked a restaurant in the Afghan capital.
"She was an amazing young woman – smart, strong, beautiful, funny, stubborn and kind," her family said in statement emailed to the Chicago Tribune. "As you could probably guess, her death is a shock to us all and we can’t imagine a moment going forward when she won't be desperately missed."
"We are all deeply saddened by the events Friday evening. It was a vicious attack on innocent people at a restaurant in Kabul," American University's president wrote in an email to students Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Three Americans were killed, the U.S. embassy in Kabul confirmed, in what was the deadliest attack on foreign civilians in Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Also killed were 13 other foreign citizens and eight Afghans.
From the Associated Press:
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in reprisal for an Afghan military operation earlier in the week against insurgents in eastern Parwan province, which the insurgents claimed killed many civilians. The Taliban frequently provide exaggerated casualty figures.
"The target of the attack was a restaurant frequented by high-ranking foreigners," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an emailed statement. He said the attack targeted a place "where the invaders used to dine with booze and liquor in the plenty."
He described the "revenge attack" as having delivered a "heavy admonitory blow to the enemy which they shall never forget."
The deaths have shaken Kabul's tight-knit expatriate community, which frequented a handful of restaurants such as Taverna that were considered relative safe in Kabul's often insecure streets.