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Indian Consulate Targeted In Northern Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif

KABUL:  Explosions and gunshots were heard near the Indian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Sunday and gunmen attempted to enter the compound, a spokesman for the local governor said.

Two of the four attackers have been killed by Afghan special forces. No Indian causalities have been reported and Afghan forces are in control.

“We are being attacked. Fighting is going on,” an Indian consulate official told AFP by telephone from inside the compound.

Muneer Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the Balkh province governor, said the attackers had hidden in a house near the consulate and struck after darkness fell.

He said the gunmen had tried to enter the consulate but had so far not been able to. “Right now our security forces are fighting them,” he said.

An Indian official said there had been no reports of Indian casualties so far and it was not certain that the consulate itself was the target of the attack. “Details are very sketchy at this point in time,” he said.

The incident comes as Indian security forces are still trying to suppress an attack on the air base in Pathankot, near the border with Pakistan that has killed at least seven military personnel and wounded 20 others.

It also came amid renewed efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to reduce longstanding tensions between the two countries.

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