OTTAWA – Two accountants doing auditing work on Canadian foreign aid projects were among those killed in a brutal suicide attack at a restaurant in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday.

Pierre Samson, head of the Gatineau, Que.-based firm Samson and Associates, said the two employees — a man from Gatineau and another from Ottawa — were in the Afghan capital to do auditing for the Canadian International Development Agency.

Samson said they were having dinner at La Taverna du Liban, a restaurant popular with foreigners and affluent Afghans, when the bomb went off.

“This is the first time that we’ve ever had such a thing,” Samson said in an interview, explaining that his firm has done work in Afghanistan for some time.

“As auditors we’re not on the front so we don’t usually go where it is very dangerous, but in a case like this the attack was directly in town, so it was not in a danger area. But unfortunately we were there at a bad time.”

Samson said he was given the news Friday evening by the Canadian embassy in Kabul.

The firm isn’t releasing the names of the deceased because it’s still trying to get in touch with family members.

Twenty-one people were killed in all. Afghan officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the restaurant, while two gunmen snuck in through the back door and opened fire.

It’s the deadliest violence against foreign civilians in the country since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility.

Three United Nations personnel and the International Monetary Fund’s representative in Afghanistan were among those killed, officials said.