Afghan troops call off 24-hour siege near Indian consulate

Afghan forces end standoff near Indian consulate in north, kills all three attackers after their unsuccessful attempt to storm consulate

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of Afghan Quick Reaction Force (QRF) talk among themselves during an operation close to the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan January 4, 2016.

Following heavy clashes, Afghan Special Forces end a 24-hour siege after killing all attackers who had held up near the Indian consulate in the country’s north, officials said Tuesday.

The assault began on Sunday night in the city of Mazar-i Sharif, when three armed men tried unsuccessfully to storm the consulate, and then took refuge in a nearby building.

Sarwar Hussaini, a police spokesman in northern Balkh province, said the standoff ended late Monday night. The three gunmen were killed, as 10 people were injured during the clashes, including five civilians, he added.

The Indian ambassador said all the consulate staff were safe.

The attack came just days after Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi went on a historic visit to Kabul and Islamabad, in an attempt to make a step to end the longstanding hostility in the region.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the assault.

This was not the first attack on an Indian diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. Previously nine civilians were killed in August 2013 in a suicide attack that targeted the Indian consulate in the city of Jalalabad.

The incident happened on the same day armed men attacked an Indian air base in Pathankot in the northwestern state of Punjab near the border with Pakistan, in which seven soldiers died and five militants were killed.

TRTWorld and agencies