Bomb attack on Indian embassy in Afghanistan, 40 People Killed
Update- Death toll has increased to 40 and sources in Indian government have confirmed the death of defence attache and another senior diplomat.
A defence attaché in the rank of Brigadier and an IFS officer were among 40 people killed in a suicide bomb attack at the Indian embassy in Kabul. A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-filled car into the gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul, leaving at least 40 people dead, officials and a witness said.
"The number of deaths at this time is 28, while 141 people were wounded, half of them hospitalised," health ministry spokesman Abdullah Fahim said, adding that the figure was based on information from several hospitals.
The blast destroyed about four cars outside the embassy in the heart of the city, and flesh and broken limbs were scattered at the scene, an Afghan witness said. The bomber hit the thick embassy gate, he said.
"It was a suicide car bomb in front of the Indian embassy," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said. "There are casualties but at this time I don't have a figure."
The powerful rush-hour blast sent a plume of brown smoke into the air and could be heard across the city centre. It shattered the windows of shops several hundred metres (yards) away, an AFP reporter said.
Police immediately sealed off the scene and kept people away.
Kabul has in recent years been hit by a series bomb attacks, including suicide attacks, blamed mainly on Taliban.
The last blast in Kabul was on June 1, when a remote-controlled bomb blew up near a minivan taking Afghan army staff to work. A woman was killed and five other people wounded.
Days earlier, a suicide blast in the city struck a convoy of the US-led coalition military force which is helping Afghanistan defeat a Taliban insurgency and train its army.
The soldiers all survived but three civilians were killed.
One of the most daring rebel attacks in the city was on April 27 when militants opened fire on President Hamid Karzai as he was about to address the country's largest annual military parade.
A parliamentarian and two other Afghans were killed, but the president was unhurt. The attack shocked Afghanistan and its allies.
The Taliban were ousted in an invasion led by the United States in late 2001 after the rebels refused to hand over al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden following the September 11 attacks on the United States.
In another ghastly incident a suicide bomber attacked Indian embassy in Kabul. India has been providing financial and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. This will prove a big jolt to Indian government's relief efforts in Afghanistan.
A suicide bomber has rammed a car full of explosives into the gates of the Indian embassy in the Afghan capital, killing 28 people, officials say.
A spokesman for the health ministry said 141 people were injured, including civilians and security forces.
Two embassy vehicles were also destroyed in the attack, reports say.
There has been a sharp increase in Afghan violence in recent months, mainly in the south and east, although the capital has been relatively quiet.
Smoke was seen rising from the scene of the blast as police cordoned off the area.
Ambulances were carrying away wounded from the scene.
People were also queuing for visas at the time.
"I couldn't feel anything," Abdul Raziq, who was distributing newspapers at the time, told the BBC.
"I saw glass falling down from buildings, before the area was crowded with ambulances, police and forces of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf)", Mr Raziq said.
Ali Hassan Fahimi said shrapnel had landed into his office, which is close to the site of the blast.
"It was so strong... and our staff got shocked," he said.
The BBC's Martin Patience in Kabul says there has been no claim of responsibility yet but the Taleban have vowed to step up attacks in the capital.
In April, there was an assassination attempt against the Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the city.
And earlier in the year, Taleban militants launched an attack on the Serena hotel killing several people.
India has close relations with Afghanistan. It has been funding a number of large infrastructure projects, correspondents say.