Indian consulate targeted in Jalalabad, two attackers killed

Kabul: Militants attacked the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city on Wednesday, triggering a fierce gun battle that left two attackers dead, media reports said.

Fourteen others – none of them Indian – were injured in the attack that took place in an area that also houses the Pakistani and Iranian missions, police said.

All Indian diplomats and consulate staff were safe, Afghan and Indian officials said. Authorities said the attack, which started around noon, ended a few hours later.

Security forces killed “a team of suicide bombers” who targeted the Indian consulate, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press news agency said.

ToloNews quoted hospital sources to say that 14 people had been admitted with injuries. This included an unspecified number of children.

Khaama Press said at least two attackers opened fire after a loud boom was heard.

The security forces retaliated, gunning down the attackers “pretty soon”. It added that all Indian diplomats and employees were safe.

The attack caused panic. Civilians fled from the site while security forces engaged the gunmen, police officers said.

Journalists at the site reported explosions and gunfire. Security forces moved in armoured vehicles.

A shopkeeper near the consulate told journalists that he saw several injured people lying on the ground after a massive blast shattered his windows.

The nature of the blast might have been a group attack, Xinhua news agency earlier reported.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

In January, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a deadly gun and bomb siege targeting the nearby Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, the first major attack by the group in an Afghan city.

The attack comes ahead of direct peace talks this week between the Afghan government and the Taliban.