Suicide bomber attacks Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing at least 41


Monday, July 7, 2008

Map of Afghanistan with Kabul in bold

A car bomb was used in an attack on the Indian embassy in central Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday morning. The bombing killed 41, and injured at least 141. It is the deadliest attack in Kabul since 2001, when Afghanistan’s Taliban government was ousted by American armed forces.

The attack happened at the gates of the embassy, located in central Kabul, near many other government buildings including the office of the Interior Ministry of Afghanistan. A security office and part of a wall were destroyed, and the blast was large enough to spread debris to surrounding buildings. Ali Hassan Fahimi, whose office is nearby, said shrapnel landed in his office. “It was so strong… our staff were shocked,” he commented.

Many of the victims were Afghans who were lining up for visas to travel to India. Of the casualties, most were civilians. The dead include embassy workers, a defense attache, a senior counselor, two security guards, an Afghan employee and six police officers.

The foreign ministry of Afghanistan said that they “condemn today’s terrorist attack on the embassy of the friendly and brother country of India.” An Afghan government spokesman, Zamari Bashari, suggested that the attack was retaliation for India’s support for reconstruction in Afghanistan. India called the bombing a “cowardly terrorist attack” and said that they would send a delegation to investigate.

Foreign entities voiced similar sentiments. The United Nations envoy Kai Eide said, “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. In no culture, no country, and no religion is there any excuse or justification for such acts. The total disregard for innocent lives is staggering and those behind this must be held responsible.” The European Union condemned the attack as a “terrorist attack targeting innocent civilians” and the United States said it was a “needless act of violence”. The foreign minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, denounced the attack, saying, “Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as this menace negates the very essence of human values.”

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