KABUL/NEW DELHI: Two Indians working as guards at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul were among 25 people killed in a string of Taliban suicide attacks across Afghanistan today.
In the first attack, a Taliban suicide bomber hit a minibus carrying foreign security guards in Kabul along the main road to the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing Indian and Nepalese security guards.
The Taliban also claimed a second smaller blast in south Kabul. The third blast took place in a market in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup in New Delhi said, "We have learnt that 2 Indian nationals, Ganesh Thapa and Govind Singh from Dehradun died tragically in the blast in Kabul today morning."
"Government is in touch with the families of Indian nationals and is working with the Afghan government to repatriate their mortal remains at the earliest," he said.
The two Indians were working for a private security company, Sabre International.
Canada condemned the attacks and offered condolences to the families of the guards.
"Canada strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Afghanistan by the Taliban, including the attack on a bus carrying security guards who protect the embassy of Canada to Afghanistan, in Kabul," Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said in a statement.
He offered condolences on behalf of Canadians to the families and friends of "the Nepalese and Indian guards killed", adding that many had been "part of our embassy family for years."
"They will be remembered for their service in the protection of the men and women at the embassy of Canada to Afghanistan."
The attacks come days after the US announced an expansion of the US military's authority to conduct air strikes against the Taliban, a significant boost for Afghan forces which have limited close air-support capacities.