Attacks on Indian interests in Afghanistan

Here’s a list of previous attacks on India’s diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan

On Sunday at 8:20 pm local time, the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s third-largest city, Mazar-e-Sharif, came under attack from a group of terrorists. While there are no casualties so far, local reports have confirmed that at least one civilian has been injured. Mazar-e-Sharif is located in the northern part of Afghanistan and is the capital of the Balkh province.

According to Afghan news channel TOLO News, the attack is not yet over. It quoted the head of Balkh security department, Abdul Razaq Qaderi, as saying that the terrorists were still firing on the consulate on Monday morning.

“There are between three and four gunmen in the house and they are still alive. The security forces have surrendering the gunmen and will soon launch a clearing operation,” Qaderi told TOLO News.

So far, no terrorist outfit, including the Taliban or Pakistan-backed anti-India groups like the Haqqani Network, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Reports also confirmed that the consulate staff was safe, and that no one was injured.

Sunday’s attack is not the first time that terrorists in Afghanistan have attacked India’s diplomatic interests in that country. Since 2008, it is the sixth time when India’s facilities have come under attack. Here’s a list of previous attacks on India’s diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan.

Indian embassy in Kabul (July 2008)

The Indian embassy in Kabul came under attack on 7 July 2008, when a suicide car bombing took place near its gates at around 8:30am local time. The bombing, which saw 58 people killed and wounded 141, was allegedly planned by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and executed by its Afghanistan-based syndicate, the Haqqani Network. Pakistan, however, denied any involvement in the attack, with its foreign ministry spokesperson dismissing reports linking it to the same, as “total rubbish”.

In a related incident, a day after the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, “a bomb was found on a bus transporting 12 Indian road construction workers of Border Roads Organization... in Zaranj”.

Indian embassy in Kabul (October 2009)

Just over a year after the deadly attack in Kabul, the facility was the target of another suicide car bombing on 8 October 2009. The attack, which killed 17 people and injured 63, took place at 8:30am local time. While there were no Indian casualties in the attack, some Indian jawans (exact number not known) were injured. However, the embassy premises were damaged by the bomb. According to reports, it blew out the doors and windows at the embassy. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hamid Guesthouse (February 2010)

On 26 February 2010, for the third time in as many years, Indian interests came under a dual “bombing and shooting attack” from terrorists. This time, their targets were doctors (mostly Indian), who were residing in the Arya Guesthouse (also known as Hamid Guesthouse) in Kabul. First a suicide car bomb exploded outside the Hamid Guest house, followed by terrorists storming the Park Residence hotel, where other foreigners, mainly Europeans, were staying. At least 18 people (including nine Indians) were killed in the attack, which also injured 36 people. The Indian casualties included Army and ITBP personnel and Indian doctors.

Indian consulate in Jalalabad (August 2013)

The Indian consulate in the eastern city of Jalalabad came under attack in August 2013, when an explosives-packed vehicle with three suicide bombers hit a barrier near the building and exploded. Nine civilians, including six children, were killed in the attack, which also wounded 24 others. While no Indian officials were harmed by the blast, reports said that it “badly damaged a mosque and dozens of homes and small shops nearby”.

Indian consulate in Herat (May 2014)

Another Indian diplomatic facility, this time a consulate in Herat, western Afghanistan, was attacked on 23 May 2014. According to reports, the consulate was attacked around 3:15 am by four attackers. They were thwarted by the ITBP and the Afghan security forces. At the time, no group claimed responsibility for the attack.


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