New Delhi: Four heavily armed terrorists who attacked the Indian Consulate in Herat in Afghanistan on Friday were possibly planning to take staffers as hostage as forces recovered large number of weapons and a packet of dry fruits from them.
The Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the Herat Consulate along with other missions in Afghanistan, said there were a number of "general alerts" in possession of the paramilitary which indicated that Indian assets guarded by them could be targeted by militants.
"The terrorists were no doubt lethally armed. We have made some recoveries from the one terrorist who was killed by our troops right in the consulate perimeter and that shows they were heavily armed as well," ITBP chief Subhas Goswami said.
The DG said they recovered one AK-47, an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), six caches of live magazines (one magazine can hold about 30 bullets), four hand grenades, 17 live Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) rounds and a packet containing dry fruits from the killed terrorist.
Officials, studying the attack, said the recovery of such heavy weaponry coupled with dry fruits indicates the attackers were planning to escalate the situation by taking "hostages" from those in the mission staff.
They said the slain terrorist was a youngster and the fact that he could climb the about 12-feet wall of the consulate with his bare hands shows he was "commando" trained in such exercises.
In a pre-dawn assault, four gunmen opened fire on the Consulate which houses two buildings in the western Afghan city, bordering Iran. All the four attackers were killed in the heavy exchange of fire.
All the diplomatic staff were safe.
The Director General also also said security at the Indian Embassy in Kabul and consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Khandhar besides Herat has been beefed up and a high alert sounded to all Indian assets based across Afghanistan.