Blast outside Indian Embassy in Kabul, 17 killed

Blast outside Indian Embassy in Kabul, 17 killed


Afghans try to take a victim out of a car at the site of a blast in Kabul on Thursday. AP

The Indian embassy staff were safe although the three ITBP personnel suffered ‘slight injuries’ in the attack, second in 15 months.

The blast, which occurred near the outer perimeter of the heavily fortified embassy at around 9:27 am (IST), damaged a wall and destroyed a watch tower besides leaving a trail of death and destruction.

The explosion was more powerful than the previous one that occurred on July 7, 2008.
“A suicide car bomb blast took place near the Indian embassy in which 15 civilians and two Afghan policemen were killed and 76 wounded. Most of the wounded are civilians,” the Interior Ministry said.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as Khalid, Al Jazeera TV channel said.

Indian ambassador Jayant Prasad said the “Indian embassy was the target” but the suicide bomber failed to breach the security perimeter.
Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said in New Delhi: “The blast was directed at the embassy because the suicide bomber came up to the outside perimeter wall of the Indian embassy with a car loaded with explosives.”

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Fakiri said the “brutal attack” was carried out by “enemies” of Indo-Afghan ties and their “bases are outside of Afghanistan”.
Soon after the attack, the security of the Indian Embassy aAfghans carry body of a victim after a blast in Kabul on Thursday. APnd the personnel was reviewed at a meeting at the Afghan Interior Ministry in which the Indian Ambassador and officials from the Afghan Foreign Ministry were present.

This was the second attack on the Embassy in 15 months. Last year, a suicide car bomber had rammed the gate of the Indian Embassy, killing 60 people, including a senior IFS officer V V Rao and Brigadier-rank Defence Attache R D Mehta.

The last attack, blamed on Taliban militants and linked to Pakistan’s intelligence service Inter Services Inteliigence, led to fortification of the Embassy that helped prevent a major catastrophe on Thursday.
Rao said the security measures for the personnel and the mission taken after the 2008 attack have “worked effectively and have been able to prevent” what could have been a bigger tragedy. After the last attack, Indian authorities had erected a huge wall of concrete around the embassy to secure the mission which was almost destroyed in that blast.

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