Blast Kills 41 at Indian Embassy

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A Taliban suicide car bomb hit the Indian Embassy in Kabul on Monday, killing 41 people and wounding 139, in an attack Afghan authorities said was coordinated with foreign agents in the region, a likely reference to Pakistan.

Afghanistan has accused Pakistani agents of being behind a number of attacks in recent weeks, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai last month threatened to send troops across the border to attack militants there if Pakistan does not take action.

India's military and press attaches and two Indian guards were among the 41 killed, but a line of people waiting for visas and those shopping at a nearby market were the main victims of the blast, the deadliest in Kabul since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban from power in 2001.

The explosion destroyed two embassy vehicles, blew the embassy gates off and badly damaged buildings inside the compound, as well as shattering windows over a wide area. Forty-one people were killed and 139 wounded, a senior police official said.

"The Interior Ministry believes this attack was carried out in coordination and consultation with an active intelligence service in the region," the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.

India has close relations with the Afghan government and is funding a number of large infrastructure projects.