Taliban claims responsibility for deadly suicide attack in Kabul
A suicide car bomb explodes outside the Indian embassy in Afghanistan. CNN's Atia Abawi explains.
A suicide car bomb attack near the Indian Embassy killed at least 17 people and wounded 60 others on Thursday, officials said.
The bomb exploded in the center of Kabul on the corner of Passport Lane and the Indian Embassy.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying an Afghan national in a sports-utility vehicle carried out the attack.
Indian officials said the bomber had intended to strike the embassy.
"The suicide attack(er) ... attempted (to go) through one of the embassy gates," Vishnu Prakash, spokesman for India's external affairs ministry, told CNN on Thursday. "The embassy was the target."
The bomb went off at about 8:30 a.m. (4:00 a.m. GMT), just as offices and shops were opening for the day.
A similar attack last year killed at least 58 people outside the Indian embassy.
There were conflicting figures on casualties from Thursday's attack. Hospital officials said 13 people were killed and 83 wounded -- including several in critical condition. Interior Ministry spokesman Ezmary Bashary said 17 were killed -- most of them civilians -- and 63 others were wounded.
The Taliban said the attack killed 35 people., including high-ranking Indian embassy officials, as well as international and Afghan police officers. The embassy is in the center of Kabul, in a shop-lined street across from the Interior Ministry and several other government buildings.
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The blast damaged a security checkpoint outside the the embassy, said staffer J.P. Singh, but "there were no casualties on the Indian side."
The explosion shattered car windows and toppled restaurant walls. Paramedics dug through twisted metal and debris, looking for survivors.
A statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office called the blast an obvious assault on civilians and said "the perpetrators of this attack and those who planned it were vicious terrorists who killed innocent people for their malicious goals."
About a year ago, another suicide car bomb detonated outside the embassy. Among the 58 people killed in the July 7 attack were two Indian diplomats and 14 students at a nearby school.
More than 100 were wounded in that blast.
Afghan and Indian officials accused Pakistan's spy agency of involvement in that attack. Pakistan denied the accusation.
India is the sixth largest donor to Afghanistan and has donated millions of dollars to help with reconstruction efforts there.
Added On October 8, 2009
In: Afghanistan, News, Middle East
Tags: Taliban, claims, responsibility, for, deadly, suicide, attack, in, Kabul
Location: Kabul, Kabol, Afghanistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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