Kabul: A vehicle packed with explosives drove into the sidewall of the Indian Embassy in Kabul this morning. A huge blast followed. Seventeen people have died in the attack. No Indians are among the casualties.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. On its website, it said it intended to target the Embassy. There was some speculation earlier today 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," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.
Officials say the intensity of today's 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. Forty one people died and 147 others were injured in one of the deadliest attacks in the Afghan capital.
This is the fourth attack since August in Kabul, and the second attack on the Indian Embassy in a year.
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.