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Bodies of 4 Indians brought back from Kabul by special plane

The bodies of four Indians, killed in the Taliban attack on a guesthouse in Kabul, were flown in here on Friday by a special Indian Air Force plane.

The four Indians – two auditors, a consultant for Afghan government projects and an NGO worker- were among 14 people killed in the attack by the militants who stormed the Park Palace Guesthouse on Wednesday.

Among the others who were killed in the five-hour assault were two Pakistanis, an Italian, his Kazakh wife and a US national.

According to a top Afghan government official, the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan could have been the target of the Taliban attack, a view which was echoed by the envoy of that country here.

The four Indians killed in attack have been identified as Mathew George, RK Bhatti, Satish Chandra and Martha Farrel, army sources said.

Two of those killed were from Kerala, one from Chandigarh and one from Andhra Pradesh.

Martha Farrell, 56, was to return to India from Afghanistan on Saturday. An official from NGO Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) was quoted as saying by IANS that Farrell was the spokesperson for a training programme conducted by the Aga Khan Trust.

She was in Afghanistan from May 9 and was due to return on May 16.

Army sources said Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy for good governance Ahmad Zia Massoud visited the attack scene in Kabul late on Wednesday night where a group of militants launched a coordinated attack.

Massoud told reporters near the Park Palace guest house that militants attacked it thinking the Indian ambassador was present in the compound.

The sources said Massoud termed it a political attack but did not elaborate further.

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