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article imageCar Bomb Outside Indian Embassy in Kabul Kills at Least 17

By Chris Dade     Oct 8, 2009 in World
A suicide car bomber struck outside the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 17 people and injuring dozens more.
The Taliban has supposedly claimed responsibility for the blast, which occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time in a road between the Indian Embassy and the Afghan Interior Ministry that is lined with shops and shattered glass in buildings over a mile away.
According to the BBC of the 17 people confirmed dead 15 were civilians and one an Afghan police officer. The bomb exploded as people who work in the area began arriving for the day and therefore the death toll amongst civilians is high.
Reports as to the number of people injured in the blast vary. Whilst the Afghan Interior Ministry has confirmed that 63 people were injured, the Independent has the number at 84, members of the Afghan security forces are reportedly amongst that number, and CNN has the number at 58.
However the latter two sources still have the death toll at 12 and it may be that the information supplied by the Interior Ministry, and reported by the BBC, is the most accurate.
Speaking in the Indian capital New Delhi the country's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao confirmed that shrapnel from the blast had injured three Indian paramilitary soldiers who were on guard duty in a watchtower at the embassy, the extent of their injuries was not revealed, and then declared that the embassy was the bomber's intended target. She said:I believe the suicide bomb was directed at the embassy since the suicide bomber came up to the outer perimeter wall of the embassy in a car loaded with explosives
Meanwhile a statement issued by the office of Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, has identified civilians as the target of the attack, the statement saying that "the perpetrators of this attack and those who planned it were vicious terrorists who killed innocent people for their malicious goals".
Since the summer Kabul has become the scene of regular attacks by militants, mostly aimed at international forces and Afghan government buildings but still killing many civilians, and one office worker and freelance journalist Edrees Kakar told the BBC of the frustration and fear of the city's residents and workers. He said:These bomb attacks are happening so frequently that people no longer feel safe. People are leaving their homes less and less. We are frustrated and feel we are not getting sufficient help from the international community
The Indian embassy in Kabul was the scene of a previous attack in July 2008. Two Indian diplomats and 14 students from a nearby school were amongst the 58 people killed on that occasion.
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