Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Indian Consulate in Afghan attacked, ITBP responded

Indian Consulate in Afghan attacked, ITBP responded

Powerful blasts and gunfire rang out near the Indian consulate and other foreign missions in the Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, with officials saying 14 people were injured in the attack.

Initial reports suggested one blast was triggered by a suicide bomber near the Indian consulate at noon, Khaama Press reported.

Other reports said at least four attackers were involved. One of them was gunned down by security forces and a search was underway for the others.

At least 14 injured people were admitted to hospital, officials were quoted as saying by Tolo News. The external affairs ministry said all Indian staff at the consulate were safe though an Afghan employee was injured.

Witnesses said small arms fire could be heard near the Indian consulate, which is located in an area with several other foreign missions.

The blasts shattered windows and doors in nearby buildings and destroyed at least eight cars. No militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In December, Afghan security forces said they had foiled two attempts to attack the Indian mission in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangrahar province. They also said they had arrested two members of the Islamic State in connection with one of the planned attacks.

On January 4, three attackers stormed a building near the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif and exchanged fire with security forces for almost 25 hours before they were killed. The attack coincided with a terrorist assault on the Pathankot airbase in India.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed was linked to the attacks in Mazar-e-Sharif and Pathankot.

Also in January, seven Afghan security personnel were killed while fighting terrorists who attacked the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad. The IS claimed responsibility for the attack.

During the first week of January, a restaurant in Kabul frequented by foreigners and a contractor camp on the outskirts of the capital were attacked.

There has been a spike in violence since the start of 2016, a tough year for Afghanistan as insurgents escalated attacks to enter any peace negotiations from a position of strength.

-Hindustan Times

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