Trained militants belonging to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba were behind the attack aimed at the Indian consulate in Jalalabad on August 3, the Jalalabad police commissioner told Amar Sinha, India’s ambassador to Afghanistan, in an official briefing on the investigation.
According to the Afghan authorities, a group of 10 Punjabi-speaking operatives were sent to Jalalabad for the attack. Of these, a team of three attackers wearing suicide vests drove towards the consulate, but unknown to them, security around the Indian mission had already been tightened.
Sinha had, on July 31, received an important alert from New Delhi, warning him specifically of an attack on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad. The intelligence had been shared with the Afghan police and quick reaction teams (QRTs) had been deployed along the route to the consulate.
The suicide bombers were stopped at a check post not far from the Indian property, and one of the afghan police officials noticed that while the car was brand new, the number plate was old.
Once the bombers were stopped, two of them came out of the car and the observant police officer opened fire on noticing that they were wearing suicide vests. This officer was later rewarded by Sinha.
As soon as firing started, the third bomber blew himself up and the explosives-laden car ripped through a nearby mosque, killing eight children.
Subsequent intercepts and an examination of the evidence picked up from the site of the blast point to the involvement of the LeT. Civilians have also testified that the bombers were speaking a different language.
Indian assets have been regularly attacked in Afghanistan and the LeT, aided by the Haqqani network, has been behind the attacks, even according to information shared with India by the Americans.
There has been a concerted effort by Pakistani Army, which works in close coordination with LeT and the Haqqanis, to curtail India’s strategic depth in Afghanistan.