New Delhi: An Indian working for an international food services company in Afghanistan was among three foreigners killed on Thursday by unidentified gunmen after they were abducted from the capital city Kabul, the Indian foreign ministry said.
Indians have been seen as targets by Taliban insurgents given their proximity to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) military spy agency which is believed to be supporting the Sunni hardline group to deseat the Ashraf Ghani government in Kabul. The Indian embassy in Kabul and Indian consulates in Herat have also come under attack with New Delhi suspecting such attacks to have been planned by the ISI and carried out by groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani network.
Thursday’s attack revived memories of the attack in 2008, in which two Indian diplomats and two Indian security personnel were among five killed in a massive car bomb blast that had targeted the Indian embassy in Kabul. The attack had also killed scores of Afghans who had lined up outside the embassy for visas.
Pakistan has been worried about India’s influence in Afghanistan. It is being seen as seeking a sympathetic government in Kabul that it can fall back on in case of a war with India. India, on its part, wants a government in Kabul that is not inimical to its interests.
Thursday’s attack came nearly three months after seven Indian engineers of the Indian RPG group company working in Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan province were abducted by Taliban gunmen who apparently mistook them for government employees.
In Thursday’s attack, a Malaysian and a Macedonian, who were working as chefs for French food services and facilities management giant Sodexo, also died, PTI quoted ToloNews as saying.
The identities of the victims have not been disclosed. They were killed after they were abducted on Thursday and their bodies were later found in Mussahi, a volatile area of the Afghan capital, the report said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killings.