International News

Kabul: At least 80 dead, over 350 wounded in blast near Indian Embassy

Sushma Swaraj said the Indian Embassy staffers were safe.

At least 80 people were killed and around 350 were wounded on Wednesday after a massive explosion targeted an area in Kabul where several embassies, including the India’s, are located, Reuters reported. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the Embassy staff were safe. An Afghanistan public heath official said a majority of the victims were Afghan civilians and that no reports of foreign embassy staff being wounded or killed had emerged yet.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack. “The terrorists, even in the holy month of Ramadan, the month of goodness, blessing and prayer, are not stopping the killing of our innocent people,” Ghani said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The Chinese and French embassies said their buildings were among those damaged, Reuters reported.

It was not immediately clear who or what was the target of the blast. The attack is believed to have been a car bomb near the German embassy, Basir Mujahid, Kabul police spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

The blast took place not too far from the presidential palace. Windows were reported to be shattered in shops and restaurants around the blast site. At least 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged in the blast, Najib Danish, deputy spokesperson at the Afghan Interior Ministry, told AP.

Several journalists located in Kabul had tweeted the pictures of the blast, including BBC’s Kabul bureau manager, Karim Haidari, who said some of their staff were affected by the explosion.

“India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated.”

Pakistan, too, denounced the perpetrator’s actions.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.