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New Delhi, Kabul favour targeting bases, links of terror outfits

Kabul: With the increased threat to Indian assets in Afghanistan causing concern, New Delhi and Kabul on Sunday favoured targeting the bases of terror outfits and their financial links to root out the menace from the region.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, here on a two-day visit to review the security of the Indian embassy, consulates and workers in the wake of the July 7 attack on the embassy, held talks with President Hamid Karzai.

During the 30-minute meeting, the two sides discussed security. The attack they felt was the handiwork of “enemies” of relations between the two countries.

Among the dead in the attack, four were Indians, a Brigadier-rank Defence Attache, a senior IFS officer and two ITBP jawans.

Mr. Menon, who also met Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, was told that the Afghan government would do everything possible to protect the Indian assets.

The two sides agreed that “terrorism is a threat to both countries, as well as the stability and democracy of the region,” Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen told PTI.

Mr. Karzai and Mr. Menon were of the view that it is “not enough to fight the symptom of terrorism” that is visible in Afghanistan but the menace should be “rooted out from the region by targeting bases, recruitment places and financial links,” Mr. Baheen said.

Indian ambassador Jayant Prasad told a memorial ceremony that more than 60 people were killed in the attack.

“Now there are over 60 Afghan nationals dead, besides our own losses of four.”

The Interior Ministry could not confirm the higher toll. — Agencies

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