Limavady man Simon Chase one of 21 killed in Taliban attack in Kabul

Afghan security forces personnel investigate the site of Friday's suicide attack and shooting, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Afghan security forces personnel investigate the site of Friday's suicide attack and shooting, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

One of the two Britons killed in a Taliban attack on a restaurant in Kabul on Friday had been living in Limavady.

Simon Chase, a former British soldier, was originally from Merseyside but had been living in Limavady, Co Londonderry with his fiancee Norma McDowell.

The healthcare worker from Limavady was being comforted by family and friends on Saturday.

It is understood the couple lived together with two children in the Drumachose Park area of the town.

The ex-Cheshire Regiment soldier had worked as a nightclub doorman in Limavady before travelling to Kabul to work in the security industry.

Mayor of Limavady Gerry Mullan extended his condolences to Mr Chase’s family.

“There is a cloud that has descended upon the local community who are very shocked and saddened by his loss,” said the SDLP councillor.

“He was a well-known and well-respected figure in the community.”

Limavady DUP councillor Alan Robinson said the outpouring of grief since the news broke on Friday evening has been overwhelming.

“Our community is very proud of the work that Simon Chase was doing in Afghanistan but equally the entire community is shocked and devastated at his death,” he said.

“Whilst I did not know Simon in a personal capacity I was very sad to learn of his passing in such tragic circumstances in far away lands.

“Our first thoughts of course are with his partner and his family circle, but also for his colleagues in Afghanistan and on the mainland.”

The death toll in the attack at the restaurant which was popular with foreigners and affluent Afghans has risen to 21, the deadliest violence against foreign civilians in the country since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

Kabul police chief General Mohammad Zahir Zahir said that the victims included 13 foreigners and eight Afghans, and that the majority are civilians.

He said the three attackers, including a suicide bomber and two gunmen, were also killed during Friday’s assault on the Lebanese restaurant.

The dead included the head of the International Monetary Fund in Afghanistan and three United Nations staff.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Insurgents have frequently targeted foreign interests around the country and in Kabul.

The Foreign Office said a British national was among those killed.

The assault began with the suicide bomber detonating his explosives at the front door of the restaurant, in an area housing several embassies, non-governmental organisations and the homes and offices of Afghan officials.

As chaos ensued, the two other attackers entered through the kitchen and began shooting. They were later killed by security guards.