Indian team joins Afghan attack probe, NSA to go to Kabul

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) An inter-ministerial team of Indian investigators has reached Kabul to join the probe by Afghan authorities into Friday’s deadly terror attack on Indians, ahead of National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon’s trip to Kabul later this week.

Menon is expected to go to Kabul Friday, sources said here. He will meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul and other top Afghan leaders to discuss the latest attack, which India has said was designed to undermine the friendship between the Indian and Afghan peoples.

Menon will review the security for around 4,000 Indians engaged in a host of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan that ranges from building roads, bridges and power stations to training programmes, earning India enormous goodwill in that country.

The Indian team of investigators comprises officials of the home and defence ministries. They will assist the Afghan authorities in the probe, sources said.

In the third major terror attack on Indians in 20 months, suicide bombers struck at a hotel and a guesthouse in central Kabul, killing six Indians, including two army majors, in what Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Jayant Prasad has described as a ’26/11-like operation.’

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

India has pledged $1.3 billion for various reconstruction activities in Afghanistan, making it the largest regional donor to the violence-torn country. In the wake of Friday’s terror attack, India has made it clear that such assaults will not deter India from carrying out its rebuilding programmes.

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