An eyewitness told Reuters how the Kabul blast "shook the whole area".
Shkaib Sarwari said: "A suicide attack happened in a Lebanese restaurant, which shook the whole area and then gunfire started. We were very scared and when I came out all I could see was security forces around the area."
Another eyewitness, Gul Agha, told Bloomberg Businessweek that the explosion shattered windows of Norway's and other nearby embassies. The initial blast was so forceful that it was heard miles away.
The Lebanese restaurant, Taverna du Liban, was targeted during a busy time when many of the neighbourhood's Western aid workers, journalists and other expatriates were dining out.
The restaurant was lacking in common security measures, such as cement blast walls and checkpoints blocking off the street.
The bombing was the third in the Afghan capital in under two weeks.
Kabul police chief Gen. Zahir Zahir has told ITV News that 16 people have been killed in the Afghan capital bomb attack, including 13 foreigners, while four U.N. employees who "could have been present in close proximity to the attack" remain "unaccounted for", the Associated Press has reported.
Gen. Zahir Zahir also confirmed that five people had been wounded.
A police official at the scene of a car bomb explosion and gunfire in the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, said insurgents "entered" the targeted international compound housing military contractors.
First there was an explosion in front of Green Village which destroyed two or three vehicles belonging to foreign forces, and after that a number of insurgents entered inside the compound, fighting Afghan forces.
A suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the Afghan Defense Ministry today in one of two attacks that claimed the lives of at least 18 people. Nine people were killed in the bombing at the ministry.
Around half an hour later, another suicide bomber attacked a police checkpoint in Khost, in eastern Afghanistan. An Afghan policeman and eight civilians died in the blast.
The Taliban says it was behind the attack at the ministry which coincided with a visit to the area by the US Defence Minister.