The Indian embassy in Kabul and its consulates in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Herat and Balkh are under serious and imminent threat of terrorist attack, officials handling the security of the Indian establishment in Afghanistan have said.
They said that a “very specific and strong intelligence input” regarding a terrorist attack was intercepted by officials in the third week of December. “The intelligence input has stated that terrorists are planning to attack the consulates of India and the guest houses in which Indians live. The same has been shared with the Indian authorities,” a Kabul-based official, familiar with the development, said. “Guerilla attacks will be carried out targeting the Indian Embassy and guest houses where the official staff are staying. These synchronized attacks are being planned to be carried out before this year ends,” the official quoted above said.
On 12 December, seven people were killed when the Taliban attacked the Spanish embassy compound in Kabul just weeks after Madrid withdrew its military contingent in Afghanistan. During that incident, the Taliban militants had launched the attack by detonating a car bomb close to the compound’s gates, after which the attackers entered the compound through the breach in the external wall that was caused by the bomb explosion. These Taliban and other ISI-backed terrorists have targeted the Indian establishment several times in the past. In May 2014, the Indian consulate in Herat was attacked by four heavily armed militants who were killed during a lengthy gunbattle. The Arya Guesthouse, frequented by Indian doctors, was attacked in Kabul in February 2010 and nine Indian nationals died in the attack. In the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in October 2009, 17 people were killed. The deadliest of all the attacks was the July 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul, in which a suicide car bomber attacked the Indian embassy in Kabul leading to the death of 58 people.