Ensure security to Indians: Manmohan Singh to Karzai as bodies arrive (Roundup)

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) India Saturday asked Afghanistan to ‘ensure full security’ to Indians working in that country even as the bodies of six Indians, including two major-rank army officers, killed in a terror attack in Kabul Friday were brought back here in the evening.

An Indian Air Force plane Saturday evening brought back the bodies from Kabul. The six bodies wrapped in the national tricolour were accorded full military honours as bugles sounded the last post. President Pratibha Patil, who was present at the airport, laid wreaths on the coffins. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was also present.


Earlier in the day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and promised a ‘full investigation’ into the terror attack.


‘President Hamid Karzai today called the prime minister to express his condolences on the loss of Indian lives and injuries sustained by many others in the terrorist attack in Kabul on Feb 26,’ said a statement issued here by the Prime Minister’s Office.


While thanking the Afghan president ‘for the assistance being given’, Manmohan Singh also requested him ‘to ensure full security for Indian nationals in Afghanistan’.


Taliban bombers attacked guest houses in the heart of Kabul Friday, triggering a series of explosions, and a gunbattle that killed at least 17 people, six Indians, a French citizen and an Italian.


Manmohan Singh also expressed condolence to the families of Indian medical professionals who lost their lives or were injured in the Kabul terror attack.


‘This is a measure of the uncertainty that India’s Medical Mission has to work under. And that defines all the risks our medical team has been exposed to (while) serving the people of Afghanistan. It is a measure of the commitment to relief of human suffering that the medical fraternity is known for all over the world,’ the prime minister said while addressing a conference.


Eight other Indians who were injured in the attack were taken to the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) here.


Air force officials here said a team of army officers and officials from the Ministry of External Affairs had also gone to Kabul to review the security situation.


Among the deceased were Major Laishram Jyotin Singh of the Army Medical Corps, Major Deepak Yadav of the Army Education Corps, engineer Bhola Ram, tabla player Nawab Khan, staffer of the Kandahar Consulate Nitish Chibber and Indo-Tibetan Border Police constable Roshan Lal.


Nawab Khan, the tabla player, was part of a three-member cultural troupe which was sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to Afghanistan that gave performances in various cities there.


The assault occurred around the City Centre shopping complex and the Safi Landmark hotel, about 300 metres from the interior ministry.


Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location that five Taliban bombers attacked two compounds used by foreigners.


In October last year, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the heavily guarded Indian Embassy in downtown Kabul killing at least 17 and injuring over 80 people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *