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Embassies top militants' hit list

July 08, 2008 02:27 IST

The daring terror attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul on Monday has come at a time when the resurgent Taliban has threatened to escalate a campaign of suicide bombings in an attempt to topple the government of President Hamid Karzai, who was himself targeted by the militants in April.

The Indian mission in Kabul has been one of the prime targets for the Taliban, who have been targeting Indian nationals working here to assist the Karzai governmnet's reconstruction efforts in the war-torn country, following the ouster of the militia by the US-led forces in 2005.

In the past, terrorists have targeted foreign missions and the worst case relates to the August 7, 1998 car bomb explosions targeting the US embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.

The attacks, linked to local members of the al Qaeda terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden, brought bin Laden and al Qaeda to international attention for the first time, and resulted in the US Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list.

Along with the Mohamed Elhajouji 1993 World Trade Center [Images] bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, the embassy bombing in Tanzania and Kenya is one of the major anti-American terrorist attacks that preceded the September 11, 2001 kamikaze attacks.

Last month, a bomb exploded in front of the Danish Embassy in Islamabad killing six people, most of them security personnel.

Another major terror strike against a foreign mission took place on September 9, 2004 when the Australian embassy was attacked in Jakarta, Indonesia. The attack killed nine people including the suicide bomber, and wounded 150 others.

In war-torn Afghanistan, President Karzai has also come under attack. On April 27, Karzai came under fire shortly before an annual military parade in Kabul.

The Taliban has threatened to escalate a campaign of suicide bombings in an attempt to topple the government and challenge the presence of some 60,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including 34,000 Americans.

The death toll among foreign troops in June was the highest since the American-led invasion that toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

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