A suicide bomber on Thursday blew up his car outside the compound of the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital killing at least 12 people and leaving 83 wounded, including three ITBP jawans, in a fiery blast that had all the hallmarks of Taliban.
The powerful blast blew up the mission watch tower, destroyed vehicles and left a trail of death and destruction with Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad saying, "Indian Embassy was the target."
"A suicide car bomb took place near the Indian Embassy in which 12 people were killed and 83 wounded. Most of the wounded are civilians," Interior Ministry spokesman Zemaral Bashry said.
The Indian Ambassador said, "we have confirmed reports of nine killed, four critically injured and 12 others severely wounded. The toll may go up." But the suicide bomber failed to breach the Embassy's security perimeter and Prasad said, "no mission staff or Indian had been killed in the attack."
Three ITBP jawans guarding the barricaded Embassy compound received minor injuries in the blast which occurred at 0827 local time (0927 IST), Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said in New Delhi.
This was the second attack on the Indian mission here as last year a suicide car bomber had rammed the front wall of the Indian Embassy, killing 60 people in the strike blamed on Taliban militants linked to Pakistan's intelligence service ISI.
"All embassy personnel are safe. There is some damage to the outer wall of the embassy," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in Delhi. "I believe that the suicide attack was directed against our embassy," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.
In July last year, a suicide car bomber had rammed into the front wall of the Indian Embassy, killing 41 people and wounding 147 in one of the deadliest attacks in the Afghan capital.
Congress described the suicide bombing as a "sad incident", saying such attacks hit the morale of those engaged in reconstruction work in Afghanistan.
Party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said India was doing a great job in Afghanistan and such incidents should not take place.
"It was for the security personnel of that country to prevent such incidents and ensure that it does not happen," Ahmed said. PTI