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'Indian embassy attack killed more than 60'

world Updated: Jul 14, 2008 01:35 IST
Indian embassy

More than 60 people were killed in an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, the ambassador said on Sunday, as the Afghan foreign minister called for a united response to "increasingly brutal terror attacks."

Forty-one people, including two senior Indian diplomats, were killed immediately after the July 7 car bombing at the gates of the embassy but more had died in hospital, Indian ambassador Jayant Prasad told a memorial ceremony.

"Now there are over 60 Afghan nationals dead, besides our own losses of five," he said, referring to the embassy's military attache, political counsellor and two Indian guards as well as an Afghan driver.

The Afghan interior ministry could not confirm the higher toll.

The dead included 11 policemen and 17 children, Prasad told the dusk memorial attended by Afghan government ministers and international diplomats.

The suicide blast was the deadliest in the capital and one of the worst in the country, which has suffered a wave of suicide blasts in an insurgency launched after the hardline Taliban were driven from government in late 2001.

It was the latest in a "succession of increasingly brutal attacks", said Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, calling for the region to work together to deal with the violence a reference to Pakistan.

He said recent months had seen a "spike of terrorist acts" including an April assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai and the blowing open in June of the Kandahar jail, which freed hundreds of Taliban suspects.