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Indian consulate in Afghanistan under attack

KABUL: Explosions and gunfire heard as local officials say a number of gunmen, who took position in a nearby building, are targeting Indian consulate in city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The Indian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif has come under attack as gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades rocked the surrounding area.

Two loud explosions and gunshots were heard earlier as the gunmen launched an attack from a nearby house, Shir Jan Durani, a spokesman for the Balkh police said.

“They faced resistance from the guards and, instead, entered a house about 100 metres from the consulate and opened fire from there,” he said. “The house has been surrounded by the Afghan special forces.”

Durani said the area is fully cordoned off by security forces and attackers are unable to penetrate to nearby offices or houses. “They have to surrender or should be ready to be killed” he said.

Security forces are carrying out door-to-door search in the area and have not ruled out the presence of more attackers.

It’s not the first time an Indian diplomatic post has been attacked in Afghanistan. A couple of years ago, the Indian embassy and consulates in Kabul, Nangarhar and Herat were attacked.

All Indian consular staff were safe, the Indian consul-general confirmed.

Sunday’s attack came as Indian security forces were still trying to suppress an assault on an air base near the border with Pakistan that has killed at least seven military personnel and wounded 20 others.

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