The involvement of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI is suspected in the terror strike at the Indian embassy in Kabul, whose main targets appear to have been the two senior officials, including the defence attache killed in the attack.
An explosive-laden car rammed into the Indian embassy gate in the Shahr-i-Naw area as two cars carrying Brigadier Ravi Dutt Mehta and Counsellor V Venkateswar Rao were entering the embassy compound, official sources said in New Delhi.
Brig Mehta was just beginning his tenure in Kabul having been posted to the city nearly five months back on February 15, 2008. He was an air defence artillery officer who was commissioned into the armed forces in June 1976.
Two ITBP personnel Ajai Pathania and Roop Singh were also among the 41 people killed in the strike in which 141 were injured.
Rao's body was flung over the roof by the impact of the explosion that blew off the embassy's gates and outer structure and damaged buildings inside the compound. Two Indian embassy vehicles were also damaged, an official said, adding over 140 people were injured in the blast.
Wounded people lay on the road wailing for help amid blood and severed limbs after the blast as a cloud of dust and smoke billowed from the site.
Mehta had recently taken his wife Sunita and two children -- Flight Lieutenant Udit Mehta, M S Bhawiya Mehta -- to Kabul to spend their summer vacation.