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7 killed, 19 injured in attack on Indian consulate in E. Afghanistan

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: At least seven people, including five suicide bombers, were killed and 19 others including children were injured in a complex attack on the Indian consulate by a group of armed militants on Wednesday in Jalalabad, official sources told Afghanistan Times.

First, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive laden vehicle near the entrance gate of the consulate. Soon after the blast, four other bombers tried to enter into the consulate, Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyanai told Afghanistan Times.

“All bombers were killed shortly after the attack by security forces that also left two civilians killed including a woman. Nineteen others were injured, mostly civilian,” the spokesman said.

The consulate staffers suffered no casualty in the today’s attack and all were safe, the spokesman said, adding that the wounded people were shifted to the nearby hospital.

Windowpanes of nearby houses and shops smashed due to the complex terror attack. People in the adjacent area also suffered financial losses.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

This is the second time in this year that militant groups targeted the Indian consulate in Afghanistan. Early in January militants attacked the Indian consulate in northern Mazar-i-Sharif city, no group claimed responsibility for that attack as well.

According to IANS, on January 3, 2016, a group of four terrorists attacked the consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif. The attackers firing from a nearby building wrote graffiti with blood on some walls, stating they intended to avenge the execution of Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri militant who was hanged in 2013 for his role in the 2001 Indian parliament attack.

On May 23, 2014, the Indian consulate in Herat was attacked by four heavily armed militants. No one in the consulate’s staff was injured.

On August 3, 2013, an explosive-laden vehicle with three suicide bombers hit the Indian consulate building in Jalalabad. Nine civilians, including six children, were killed in the attack.

On February 26, 2010, nine Indians, including army, ITBP personnel and doctors, were among at least 18 people killed in the bomb and gun attack at the Arya Guesthouse, also known as Hamid Guesthouse, and the Park Residence hotel, located in the Shar-e-Naw area of the capital city.

On October 8, 2009, a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle packed with explosives near the Indian embassy in Kabul, killing 17 Afghan civilians and injuring scores. Some Indians were injured in the bombing that blew out the doors and windows at the embassy.

On July 7, 2008, at least 58 people were killed and some 140 were injured in the suicide car bombing outside the Indian embassy in Kabul. A day later, a bomb was found on a bus that carried 12 Indian workers of the Border Roads Organization in Zaranj.

It is pertinent to mention that according to the fourth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) Afghan government is at the doorsill of direct talks with the Taliban. But still Afghan people witness attacks carried out by Taliban in different parts of the country. Around 23 civilians were killed and 50 others injured in two suicide attacks in capital Kabul and Kunar this week.

According to Xiao Bin, as associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Taliban had brought intensity in their attacks to gain an advantageous position in the peace process.

“Nonetheless, hoping to win an advantageous position in future negotiations, the Afghan government and Taliban militants have escalated their armed conflicts. According to a report submitted to the Congress by US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko on January 30, the Afghan government has already lost control over 30 percent of the country, over which anti-government forces move freely,” he opined.

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