External Affairs

Four Indians Killed, Kabul Investigators Probing ‘Insider’ Angle

Location of the Park Palace Guesthouse in Kabul.

Location of the Park Palace Guesthouse in Kabul.

Diplomatic officials closely monitoring the aftermath of the recent terrorist  attack on a guest house in Kabul in which four Indians were killed say local investigators are still grappling with “many unanswered questions” the incident has raised. 

Four Indians and an American were among 14 people killed in a Taliban attack on a guesthouse in Kabul, and officials in New Delhi are now increasingly convinced the target was chosen in order to maximise Indian casualties. The Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, was among the invitees to a classical music concert at the guest house on Wednesday night but he did not eventually attend.

“The investigation on but there are many unanswered questions”, an Indian official told The Wire. There is no clarity, for example on  how many attackers there were. “The police says one but the Indians rescued say they saw two,” the official said. ” And how did they enter [the guest house]?  [Entrance was] not possible via the main gate without resistance. Was [there some] insider help available for scaling the walls [of the compound]?”, he said.

Above all, what worries the Indian government is “how did the guest list become public or compromised?” the official said. 

PTI adds: The four Indians killed included two private auditors and an NGO worker who were at the Park Palace Guesthouse, located in the Kolola Pushta area of the Kabul city, when the Taliban militants stormed the building at about 0900 PM last night.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy for good governance Ahmad Zia Massoud was quoted by Khaama Press as saying that the militants attacked the guesthouse thinking Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha was present in the compound.

However, he did not elaborate further.

 

Three gunmen, according to reports, stormed the guesthouse and started firing.

Afghan National Security Forces including Special Forces rushed to the spot and began striking back. All the attackers were killed in the siege that lasted for about seven hours, ending in the wee hours of this morning.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack on the guesthouse.

“The attack was planned carefully to target the party in which important people and Americans were attending,” the militants said in a statement.

When the attack took place, the musical event was due to begin and was to be attended by the Turkish and Indian guests as well Afghan nationals, an Afghan Security official was quoted as saying.

Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said security forces rescued 54 people from inside the guesthouse.