The terror attack in Kabul was on the pattern of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, with six to eight terrorists targeting two hotels and hunting for victims during the strike in which nine Indians were killed and 10 others injured.
Investigators suspect involvement of the Taliban, particularly the Haqqani group, in league with elements of Lashkar-e Taiba in Friday's assault, sources said.
The attack was carried out in a coordinated manner with the terrorists first exploding bombs and then launching the armed assault, hunting for the targets, particularly the members of the Indian medical mission, a pattern seen in Mumbai during the 26/11 attack, sources added.
About six to eight terrorists are suspected to have been involved in the assault at around 6.30 am at the Park Residence Hotel and adjacent Noor guest house, where Indians on transit usually stay, the sources said.
Two or three of the attackers might have been killed in the gunfight with Afghan security forces, they said.
Two Major-rank officers of the army were among the six Indians killed and 10 others, including five army officers, were injured in the assault.
The terrorists targeted those Indians who were engaged in helping Afghan people and building partnership between the two countries, Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad told PTI.
He said those targeted were earning goodwill for India by bringing the people of the two countries closer through their developmental efforts.
"It is the handiwork of enemies of Afghan people and friendship between people of India and Afghanistan," Prasad said and asserted that these attempts would not deter India from pursuing its goal of helping Afghanistan.
Taliban, at the behest of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, has been expressing opposition to India's developmental works in Afghanistan. They have been demanding that India should end its presence in Afghanistan.
The sources said the attack reflected a change of pattern by Taliban terrorists, as this time they went for the soft targets, unlike the protected installations and persons as in the past.
Yesterday's attack was the fourth on Indian interests in Afghanistan since July 2008 when a car laden with 100 kgs 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 last year, terrorists struck again at the Embassy, carrying out a car bomb explosion near its outer wall and killing 17 people.
Subsequently, in December, 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.