Kabul attacks: ‘Indians safe, put on high alert’
After massive attacks in central Kabul, Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Gautam Mukhopadhyaya confirmed that all Indians residing there are safe.
Kabul: In the wake of Sunday`s terror attack in Afghanistan, India said it was in constant touch with its embassy in Kabul and its citizens living in that country were safe.
He also said that all Indians have been put on high alert. Although, no information of any harm to Indians have been reported so far.
"We are in constant touch with our embassy in Kabul. All Indian citizens are reported to be safe," said a statement issued by the external affairs ministry here.
Blasts and gun shots were heard inside a luxury hotel in Kabul after militants stormed a building near the UN mission in Afghanistan.
Around 4,000 Indians are living in Afghanistan and are engaged in a host of socio-economic reconstruction projects. India has pledged $2 billion for reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the serial explosions in Central Kabul, Jalalabad and Gardez.
"We claim responsibility for these attacks," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Taliban spokesman Mujahid said it had been easy to bring fighters into the capital, and they had had inside help to move heavy weapons into place.
ISAF Headquarters, German, British and Russian embassies were the prime targets of the well-coordinated sporadic attacks.
Blasts also occurred in Logar, Nangarhar and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan.
In the eastern province of Paktia, NATO helicopter gunships attacked insurgents holed up in a building next to a construction site while in the eastern city of Jalalabad, an eye witness said that Taliban attacked a foreign force base near a school.
Suicide bomber arrested
According to Afghan’s local media reports, one Taliban insurgent was killed, another blew himself up and a third was captured. A blast also went off near the airport in Jalalabad, a witness said.
As a precautionary measure, US embassy in Kabul has been locked down.
There have been no reports of casualties so far but at least one Afghan soldier is reported to have been hurt during attacks.
‘Afghan Parliament attacked’
According to the local residents, a rocket was fired upon Afghan Parliament.
Attackers also fired a rocket-propelled grenade into a house used by British diplomats in the city centre, an eyewitness said.
At least seven explosions were heard in Central Kabul.
Pak hand involved?
While talking to a news channel, Afghan’s interior ministry spokesperson, Sediq Sediqi said, “It’s a combined effort by Haqqani network and other terrorists.” He also hinted at Pakistan’s hand for carrying out attacks.
It was the first attack in Kabul since a shooting inside the Interior Ministry in February in which a ministry employee turned a gun on NATO advisers and shot two soldiers dead.
(With agencies` inputs)