External Affairs

Indian Mission in Kabul Hit By Rocket, No Injuries

“These weapons are grossly inaccurate and it is likely that the Indian compound wasn’t even the target,” an official in Kabul said.

Representative image of police in Kabul. Credit: Reuters

Representative image of police in Kabul. Credit: Reuters

Kabul, Afghanistan: During what has been an extremely bloody week in Afghanistan, the Indian mission in Kabul was hit by a rocket on Tuesday morning.

A rocket propelled grenade (RPG) landed in the tennis court of the guesthouse of Indian ambassador Manpreet Vohra around 12:25 pm Kabul time (1:25 pm IST).

Officials have confirmed that no one at the Indian embassy was hurt or injured. “These weapons are grossly inaccurate and it is likely that the Indian compound wasn’t event the target,” an official told The Wire on the condition of anonymity. “The rocket could have been fired at the Kabul Process,” the official added, referring to the multinational conference currently underway in Kabul.

Speaking to local media, Ambassador Manpreet Vohra said, “A rocket landed in the India House compound at 10:25 am. There were no casualties. Investigations are ongoing. India has dealt with terror and will never be cowed down by it.”

It is not immediately clear why the ambassador said the time of the attack was 10:25 am. This reporter heard the explosion at 12:25 pm.

The Indian mission is located in a diplomatic green zone occupied by several other embassies, including that of the US and Germany, which was destroyed in the truck bomb last week. In fact, the US embassy sounded an “incoming alarm” a few seconds before the rocket hit the India compound, providing a small window of escape for all the residents of the area.

While it is unclear who fired the rocket, official sources believe it was likely to have been fired from a nearby hill, perhaps from Kabul’s PD 16.

The rocket, while unsuccessful in its attempt, has added to the frenzy in a city that has been on a virtual lockdown the past week.

Afghanistan’s capital city is witnessing a traumatic week, following the massive truck bomb that detonated just outside of the diplomatic area in Kabul, killing as many as 150 people and injuring over 650. The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, has claimed that the attacks were planned by their Pakistani counterpart, Inter Services Intelligence, and executed by the Haqqani Network.

The attack is believed to be the worst since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and has led to a series of anti-government protests that led to clashes between civilians and armed forces in Kabul, resulting in the death of at least seven protesters.

Another triple explosion at the funeral of one of the protesters killed on Saturday resulted in the death of at least 19 mourners and injured several others. Agitated protesters have continued to strike against the government, even as the local Jamiat-i-Islami party has demanded the resignation of top security officials in the government.

As the National Unity Government in Kabul struggles to maintain a semblance of security and stability, an RPG attack, however small and ineffective, has the ability to get the entire city on edge.

Ruchi Kumar is a Kabul-based journalist.