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Blasts near Indian consulate

Sources, however, say none of the embassy staff or anyone outside the building was killed or hurt.

world Updated: Dec 14, 2007 19:39 IST

Improvised explosive devices exploded near the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad early this week, but no one was killed or hurt, official sources said in New Delhi on Friday.

None of the embassy staff or anyone outside the building was killed or hurt, sources said.

"The blasts did not happen today, but a few days ago," sources said when referred to some TV channel reports saying the blasts took place on Thursday night.

"The consulate was not attacked or targeted. Explosions took place outside the consulate," he said.

Security has been tightened at the Indian consulate and the Indian authorities are in touch with the Afghan government to ascertain the identity of the perpetrators of the blasts, officials in New Delhi said.

The incident is being investigated by the Afghan authorities and has put the spotlight over the security of nearly 2000 Indian workers and personnel living in Afghanistan.

India has four consulates in Afghanistan as well as an embassy in Kabul.

There was no official comment from the external affairs ministry about the blasts or the possible identity of those behind the blasts. However, it is suspected that a resurgent Taliban, that resents growing Indian involvement in the reconstruction of the violence-torn country, could be behind the incident.

The Indian cabinet on Thursday approved over $180 million for building the strategic Zaranj-Delaram road that would provide India better access to Central Asia and open up an alternate route for the landlocked Afghanistan to an Iranian port and reduce its dependence on Pakistan.

Pakistan resents India's assistance in building this road link as Islamabad fears it will give India greater presence in Afghanistan and reduce its influence in a country it regards as its sphere of influence.

Ramankutty Maniyappan, a driver with India's Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which is building this road, was killed more than two years ago by the Taliban militia which allegedly acted at the behest of Pakistan.