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13 dead as blast targets Kabul's Indian embassy

A huge suicide car bomb struck near the Indian embassy in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 84 in the latest in a wave of deadly attacks on the Afghan capital, officials said.

Windows were blown from dozens of shops and survivors staggered around the bloodied streets in the heavily fortified fortified (fôrt´fīd),
adj containing additives more potent than the principal ingredient.
 central diplomatic area The Diplomatic Area (Arabic: المنطقة الدبلوماسية; transliterated: al-Mantiqah ad-Diblomasiyah) is a place in Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, an island kingdom in Persian , after the fifth suicide strike in Kabul in two months.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blast bore all the hallmarks of the Taliban, who are battling to topple the Western-backed government and oust foreign troops based in Afghanistan.

The interior ministry said that 12 people were initially reported killed while a health ministry spokesman later confirmed that one of the injured had died, taking the death toll to 13 with 84 wounded.

"Most of the casualties are civilians," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .

In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai Hamid Karzai (Persian and Pashto: حامد کرزي) (b. December 24, 1957) is the current President of Afghanistan, since December 7, 2004. He became the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime.  called the perpetrators "barbaric" and said: "This is a terrorist attack, and an obvious attack on defenceless adj. 1. same as defenseless; as, a defenceless child s>.

Adj. 1. defenceless - lacking protection or support; "a defenseless child"
defenseless

vulnerable - susceptible to attack; "a vulnerable bridge"

 Afghan civilians."

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said in New Delhi New Delhi (dĕl`ē), city (1991 pop. 294,149), capital of India and of Delhi state, N central India, on the right bank of the Yamuna River.  that her country's fortress-like embassy was "obviously" the intended target.

Rao said no Indians were killed in the blast, but three members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is a paramilitary force conceived on October 24, 1962 for security along the Indo-Tibetan Border covering 2115 km.

The ITBP is trained in mountaineering, disaster management, and nuclear, biological and chemical disasters.
 force who were guarding the embassy had received shrapnel injuries.

A similar suicide attack suicide attack suicide nSelbstmordanschlag m  on the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008 killed 60 people and was blamed on Taliban militants linked to Pakistan's intelligence agencies, sending tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad soaring.

That attack, which remains the deadliest in Kabul, led to stringent new security measures such as concrete blast barriers at the embassy. Rao said those had limited the impact of Thursday's explosion.

An Indian diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said that "the dead would have been many more" had the blast occurred an hour later when the embassy's visa section was due to open.

Most of the dead and injured were rush-hour passers-by, he said, adding that the embassy would be closed for two weeks for repairs as many windows and doors had been blown out in the blast.

The US embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning the attacks, saying: "There is no justification for this kind of senseless violence."

The head of the European Commission delegation to Afghanistan, Hansjorg Kretschmer said: "The attack will not be a deterrent for Europe from being a key actor in the security sector and justice reform process."

The bomber detonated his explosives-laden car near the corner of the embassy compound on Interior Ministry Road at about 8:30 am (0400 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) See UTC.

GMT - Universal Time 1
), sending plumes of smoke into the air in a blast that echoed throughout the capital.

An AFP reporter saw a massive crater in the middle of the road. The wreckage of a car appeared to have been blown 20 metres (yards) across the road, while the windows of up to 100 shops were blown out.

The road was littered with debris, burned out vehicles and body parts. Bloodied scraps of clothing, including the pale blue burqas still worn by many Afghan women, were scattered across the site.

Fire engines and ambulances raced to the area. A white armoured Toyota Land Cruiser The perspective and/or examples in this article do not represent a world-wide view. Please [ edit] this page to improve its geographical balance.  with the pale blue UN insignia painted on the side lay damaged. Three civilian cars were also damaged.

It is the fifth blast to hit the capital since mid-August, just before presidential elections were held on August 20 amid a campaign of violence and intimidation by resurgent re·sur·gent  
adj.
1. Experiencing or tending to bring about renewal or revival.

2. Sweeping or surging back again.

Adj. 1.
 Taliban rebels.

On September 17, six Italian soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians were killed in a suicide attack on a military convoy on the road to Kabul's airport, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

Foreign military deaths in Afghanistan are at record levels -- more than 400 in 2009 -- and the mounting number of Western fatalities has sent support for the war plummeting in Europe and the United States.

US President Barack Obama is currently weighing whether to grant an appeal for up to 40,000 more troops from the overall commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP South Asian Edition
Date:Oct 8, 2009
Words:680
Previous Article:Bodies of 15 suspected Taliban found in Swat: army
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