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Threat to mission in Afghanistan

world Updated: Dec 17, 2010 01:45 IST
HT Correspondent

The government has ramped up security at Indian Missions in in the wake of a specific intelligence report of Pakistan-based terror groups and the Taliban planning to carry out a car bomb attack on Indian assets.

Government sources said intelligence input was “very specific”, down to the colour of the vehicle and the number that might be used.

The intelligence alert comes in the backdrop of US President Barack Obama’s review that indicates the planned “responsible, conditions-based” withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would begin July 2011. The withdrawal would raise the threats to Indian assets.

Security agencies have reported that the attack could be carried out by Haqqani faction of Taliban or terrorist groups based in Pakistan like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Apart from the embassy in Kabul, consulates in Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat and development and reconstruction projects are feared to figure high on the list of potential targets.

Nearly 200 Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel, who are guarding the embassy that has already been targeted twice since 2008.

The staff of the Indian Embassy and Indians working on developmental projects have been advised to exercise caution, restrict their movements to the minimum and maintain secrecy. The alert was sounded last week.

Two hotels in Kabul where Indians engaged in developmental and reconstruction works in live were targeted by terrorists in February this year.

The attack was the fourth on Indian interests in since July 2008, when a car was blown up at the gate of Indian Embassy, killing 60 people. In October last year, terrorists struck again at the Indian mission, carrying out a car bomb explosion killing 17 people. Later in December, a hotel housing staff of an Indian IT company was targeted that killed eight people.