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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Indian consulate attack in Herat: India points to terror from beyond Afghan border

PTI  New Delhi, May 23, 2014
First Published: 19:01 IST(23/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:16 IST(23/5/2014)

India on Friday said the terror attack on its Consulate in Herat underscores that the main threat to stability and security of Afghanistan stems from terrorism beyond its borders and asserted that the incident will not dilute its commitment to assist the war-torn country.

The Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said the government was assessing and examining the situation along with the Afghan government.

Read: Attack on Indian consulate in Afghanistan's Herat thwarted, all four gunmen killed

"Our diplomatic premises have repeatedly been attacked by elements who clearly do not support Afghan people's effort to rebuild and redevelop the country...," he said, asserting that the attack of this nature will not dilute India's commitment to assist Afghanistan in its reconstruction and development efforts.

Observing that the leadership has condemned the incident in strongest possible terms, the spokesperson said, "The attack underscores that the main threat to Afghanistan and to its peace, stability and security stems from terrorism beyond its borders."

However, he did not elaborate as to which country he was referring to when he said "beyond its (Afghanistan's) border". India is carrying out various development projects in Herat province including construction of Salma hydroelectric and irrigation dam project at the cost about $200 million.

Significantly, Cabinet Secretary and other Secretaries reviewed all inter-agency coordination mechanisms that have been put in place to deal with situations like the one arising out of the attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat. Following the meeting, appropriate instructions have been issued to all concerned agencies.

In the pre-dawn assault, Indian Consulate in the western Afghan city, bordering Iran, was attacked by four heavily- armed gunmen, who were subsequently killed by the security forces after a nine-hour-long encounter.

All the diplomatic staff were safe. Asked if there were any early clues on who was responsible for the attack, the Spokesperson said the "process of examination and assessment was underway" which includes timing of the attack before the swearing-in of the new Prime Minister and the area as the mission in the Herat was considered to be more secure then missions in Jalalabad and Kandahar.

The Spokesperson also said Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi and assured that Afghanistan will do all to protect India's missions there. On his part, Modi thanked Karzai for efforts of Afghan forces in thwarting the attack and said India salutes the efforts of India's security personnel and Afghan security forces for their valiant efforts to fight the terrorists in Herat.


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