Modi condemns attack on Indian consulate in Herat

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: May 24, 2014 10:45 IST
  • Afghanistan National Army

    An Afghanistan National Army (ANA) soldier fires his weapon at the site of a clash between insurgents and security forces on the Indian Consulate in ...

  • Afghan special forces soldier

    An Afghan special forces soldier, aims his weapon at the site of a clash between insurgents and security forces on the Indian Consulate in Herat. ...

  • injured Afghan security

    An injured Afghan security personnel watches during an attack by insurgents on the Indian consulate in Herat.  (AFP photo)

  • Afghan security officers

    Afghan security officers investigate near smoke rising from a residential building, where insurgents were holed up in, after an attack on the Indian consulate in ...

  • Afghan soldiers take

    Afghan soldiers take position outside the building of the Indian consulate, during a gun battle with attackers in Herat, Afghanistan.  (EPA photo)

  • Afghan security

    Afghan security forces escort a man away from the scene of an attack on the Indian consulate in Herat.   (AFP photo)

  • Afghan soldiers take position

    Afghan soldiers take position outside the building of the Indian consulate, during a gun battle with the Taliban attackers in Herat.  (EPA photo)

  • Afghan security policemen

    Afghan security policemen stands guard on a rooftop as smoke rises following an attack by insurgents on the Indian consulate in Herat. (AFP photo)

  • Afghan military personal

    Afghan military personal take position at the scene of an attack on the Indian consulate in Herat. (AFP photo)

  • Afghan military personal

    Afghan military personal take position at the scene of an attack on the Indian consulate in Herat. (AFP photo)

Days before he officially takes charge, Narendra Modi stepped into the prime minister's shoes Friday as he responded with alacrity to the terrorist attack on the Indian consulate in Herat, even as caretaker PM Manmohan Singh was reportedly indisposed.

Modi spoke to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on the phone and also directly called up the Indian ambassador in Kabul, Amar Sinha. Senior officials said the PM-designate spoke to Sinha before 11am. By then, the attack had been foiled and the four suicide attackers killed. The gunmen had used rocket-propelled grenades to attack the mission, narrowly missing the bedroom of Indian consul general Amit Mishra.

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

Top South Block officials said Karzai's office first sought to speak to Singh, via the ministry of external affairs, in the morning but the call had to be rescheduled for 6pm as the caretaker PM was indisposed. Instead, at around noon, the prime minister's office released a statement condemning the attack on Singh's behalf. Officials in the MEA were instructed to prepare talking points for Singh's scheduled conversation with Karzai in the evening.

Read: Herat attack: 4 slain gunmen planned to capture consulate complex, take staff hostage

However, Karzai decided not to wait and called up Modi at around 1.30pm, assuring him of protection to all Indian missions in his country. He later spoke to Singh for five minutes at the scheduled 6pm, briefing him in detail on the attack and assuring him of the safety of Indian assets in Afghanistan.

Modi later tweeted his praise of the staff at the consulate and the efforts of Indian and Afghan security personnel in foiling the attack.

 

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