9 Indians killed in ‘barbaric’ Kabul bombings (Lead)February 26th, 2010 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Nine Indians were amongst those killed in a series of bombings in the Afghan capital, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Friday, describing the blasts as “barbaric attacks” by those “desperate to undermine” ties between India and Afghanistan.
This is the third attack on Indian officials and interests in Afghanistan in the past 20 months. The attacks on the Indian embassy in July 2008 and October 2009 had killed Indian diplomats and officials besides several Afghan nationals.
“As per the preliminary information provided by Afghan government officials, up to nine Indians, besides a few others from Afghanistan and third countries, have lost their lives,” Krishna said in a statement.
The deceased Indians, Krishna added, included government officials.
“A few Indians have been injured, most of whom are reported to be out of danger,” he said, adding that arrangements were being made for their adequate and expeditious treatment, if necessary, by evacuating them to India.
Unstinting in his condemnation, Krishna said: “These barbaric attacks are a matter of deep concern and are clearly aimed against the people of India and the people of Afghanistan.”
“These are the handiwork of those who are desperate to undermine the friendship between India and Afghanistan, and do not wish to see a strong, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan,” he stressed.
At least 15 people were killed when Taliban bombers equipped with suicide vests and automatic rifles attacked a hotel and a guesthouse in central Kabul Friday, Afghan officials said in Kabul.
A series of explosions occurred at the City Centre shopping complex and the Safi Landmark hotel, about 300 metres from the interior ministry, said Abdul Ghafar Sayedzadar, a senior police official.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location that five Taliban bombers attacked two compounds used by foreigners.
Underlining special historical and civilisational ties with Afghanistan, India said such attacks would not deter it from deeper engagement with that country.
“We will not allow forces of terrorism to succeed. We will do everything at our disposal to defeat the forces of extremism,” the external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said.
India has pledged $1.3 billion for reconstruction of the war-ravaged country that includes projects ranging from building roads to dams and power stations.
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