ITBP steps up vigil in Afghan missions

ITBP steps up vigil in Afghan missions

ITBP steps up vigil in Afghan missions

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has stepped vigil at the Indian diplomatic missions in Afghanistan where it has been deployed following the terrorist attack on Herat consulate early Friday morning.

Senior ITBP officials said a high alert has already been sounded at the Indian Embassy in Kabul and consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar and Herat.

All the four terrorists, who targeted the facility in Herat, were killed. Officials said one of the terrorists was killed by ITBP personnel while the others were neutralised by Afghan forces. 

All Indian diplomatic staff is safe, they said. The ITBP, which renders perimeter security and access control duties at Indian installations besides being also trained to undertake special rescue and VIP security duties, had deployed an additional 79 commandos in Afghanistan in the past six months in addition to the 219 commandos already deployed there. Twenty-three personnel were deployed at the Herat facility.

The force had deployed more personnel after analysing the security situation in the country and the need for enhancing security at Indian installations. 

A senior security official said a decision to increase the deployment was taken last year following the August 3 suicide bomb attack near the main consulate complex in Jalalabad, which killed 12 civilians. Sources said there was no weakness in the intelligence-sharing mechanism. 

A security analysis done in the recent past showed that the Indian assets in Afghanistan were facing threats from not only al- Qaeda and the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, but also from smaller militant groups based in Pakistan. 

Security officials are not discounting the possibility of terror networks trying to send a signal to India at a time that a new government under Narendra Modi is being sworn in.