Embassy attack: Foreign Secretary visits Kabul

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Embassy attack: Foreign Secretary visits Kabul
New Delhi:  Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is on a visit to Afghanistan on Friday to take stock of the situation in the aftermath of the suicide attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, in which 17 people were killed on Thursday.

For the second time in just over a year, the Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked.

A vehicle packed with explosives drove into the sidewall of the Embassy. A huge blast followed killing 17 people. No Indians are among the casualties.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing which has been condemned by Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United states. On its website, it said it intended to target the Embassy. There was some speculation earlier about whether the real target were other government buildings nearby.

"Three of our personnel from the ITBP, who were guarding the perimeter wall of the embassy, have been slightly injured from the shrapnel from the bomb blast but there has been no loss of life," the Foreign Secretary said.

Officials say the intensity of Thursday blast was "more or less the same" as a major attack last year when a suicide car bomber drove into the front wall of the Indian Embassy.

This is the fourth attack since August in Kabul.

India is a big target because of its large presence in Afghanistan. Post-Taliban, New Delhi has pledged over $1.26 billion in aid to war-ravaged Afghanistan, making India the fifth-largest donor nation to the country after the US, Britain, Japan and Canada.

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