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President mourns Kabul blast victims

Special Correspondent


U.S. Ambassador David Mulford expresses shock

Russia describes the bombing as anti-human


NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday mourned the deaths in the Monday’s bomb blast at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, even as condemnation poured in from countries, including the U.S., Russia, Germany, the U.K., Canada, Israel and Bangladesh.

In a statement, the President said she learnt with deep sorrow the passing away of Defence Attache in Kabul, Brig. R.D. Mehta, Counsellor Venkateswara Rao of the Indian Foreign Service, Ajai Pathania and Roop Singh both of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in the terrorist attack in Kabul.

Wreaths on behalf of the President were laid on their bodies on Tuesday. The President has conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the bereaved members of the families and sent her wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured in the attack.

U.S. Ambassador David Mulford expressed shock and said his country and India stood “side-by-side” in the effort to build democracy in Afghanistan.

“Craven acts of terror like those committed today can only strengthen the resolve of both our nations to defeat terror around the world,” he said. Russia described the bombing as an anti-human and hoped the perpetrators would receive an adequate response.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband pointed out that this was the second terrorist atrocity in the region in as many days.

“Our thoughts are also with those affected by the bomb in Islamabad on July 6, which we believe resulted in the death of more than 20 Pakistanis, including 15 policemen, and injured many more. These are cowardly actions carried out by those with no regard for human life,” he observed.

Concerted action

On a three-day visit to India, Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aaron Abramovich, felt there could never be any justification for terrorism whatever its cause.

“As a country that has suffered so greatly at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terror, Israel understands the need for concerted international action against those organisations which carry out such murderous acts and those countries which support them.”

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier shared the Afghan people’s shock and sadness and assured the Indian government of his country’s sympathy. “The terrorists’ aim is to prevent the establishment of law, order and democracy in Afghanistan. For that reason we are counting on the Afghan authorities to work swiftly. The instigators of this attack must be apprehended and brought to justice immediately,” he added.

‘Cowardly attack’

“This is an inhuman and cowardly attack. It needs condemnation in strongest terms,” said Bangladesh’s Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, in a message to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee from Malaysia.

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