Indian missions on high alert after Osama`s death

Last Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 16:30

New Delhi: India has issued a high security
alert for its missions and other interests in Afghanistan in
the wake of the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in
Pakistan.

Though the Indian embassy in Kabul and its consulates in
Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat are always
facing serious threat, Osama`s killing in Abbottabad on Monday
has increased the level of danger Indian establishments and
its people face, sources said.
Security has been tightened in view of a heightened threat
from Taliban and other terror groups which may carry out a
wave of attacks following the killing of Osama.

Sources said intelligence inputs suggested that apart from
its missions, other reconstruction projects being carried out
by Indians could be targeted by Haqqani faction of Taliban or
terrorist groups based in Pakistan like Lashkhar-e-Taiba,
which has been expanding its base in Afghanistan.

The terrorists could launch a wave of attacks, involving
explosion of car-bombs followed by assault by gunmen, the
sources said, quoting intelligence inputs.

There are nearly 4,000 Indians deployed in various
projects such as medical facilities, railway and road
construction.
Nearly 200 Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel, who
are guarding the embassy, that has already been targeted twice
since 2008, and Indian nationals working on developmental
projects, have been alerted of the possibility of the attacks.

The government has ordered maximum security for all of
them, the sources said. New Delhi has also requested Kabul to
deploy adequate Afghan security personnel in the Indian
missions as well as other assets.

The staff of the embassy and Indians working on
developmental projects have been advised to exercise caution,
restrict their movements to the minimum and maintain secrecy.

On February 26, 2010, two hotels in Kabul where Indians
engaged in developmental and reconstruction works in that
country were targeted by terrorists.

The terror attack was on the pattern of the 26/11 Mumbai
carnage, with six to eight terrorists targeting the hotels and
hunting for victims during the strike in which two major-rank
officers of the army were among the six Indians killed and 10
others, including five army officers, injured.

The attack was the fourth on Indian interests in
Afghanistan since July 2008 when a car laden with about 100 kg
of explosives was blown up at the gate of Indian Embassy,
killing 60 people, including four Indians ? a Brigadier-rank
officer, a senior IFS officer and two ITBP personnel.

In October 2009, terrorists struck again at the embassy,
carrying out a car bomb explosion near its outer wall and
killing 17 people.

Subsequently, in December 2009, a hotel housing staff of
an Indian IT company was targeted. Eight people were killed
and two IT executives, an Indian cook and a cleaner were among
those injured.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 16:30

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