Keywords: indian mission in jalalabad,indian consulate in afghanistan's jalalabad
Description: The explosion took place 200 meters away from the Indian consulate. All Indians are reported to be safe. At least 3 Afghan policemen were killed in the blast.
KABUL: Afghan security forces exchanged fire with gunmen barricaded in a house near the Pakistan consulate in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday after a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing three policemen and wounding two, officials said.
Witnesses said a series of explosions could be heard and residents and children from a nearby school had been evacuated. The explosions took place 200 meters away from the Indian consulate.
"Unconfirmed reports said a few attackers are hiding in a house on the same street where Pakistan and Indian consulates are located," Pajhwok Afghan News reported.
All Indians are reported to be safe. This is the third attack near an Indian mission in Afghanistan in last 10 days.
The latest in a series of suicide attacks in Afghanistan comes amid renewed efforts to restart peace talks with the Taliban and ease diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan.
An explosives-laden vehicle was found near the Indian consulate in Herat on January 8 and one person was arrested in this regard, prompting speculation as to whether it was intended for attacking yet another Indian diplomatic mission in Afghanistan.
The standoff ended on the night of January 4 after the attackers who entered the building opposite the Indian Consulate were killed. One police solider also lost his life and nine others including three civilians were wounded in the incident.
Pakistani military officers were involved in the attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in which assailants attempted to storm the mission building, a senior Afghan police official said on Tuesday.
"We saw with our own eyes and I can say 99 per cent that those attackers were from Pakistani military and used special tactics while conducting their operation," Sayed Kamal Sadat, police chief of the Balkh province, said of the attack that took place last week.
Sadat said the attackers — officers from across the border — were well-trained military men who fought Afghan security forces in the 25-hour siege.
"The attackers were military personnel. They were educated and well prepared and had intelligence. They fought us and only by Allah's grace were we able to control them and eliminate them," Sadat was quoted as saying by Tolo News.
The police official said efforts were underway to track down, identify and detain those who assisted the attackers to gain access to the building that was opposite the Indian Consulate.
"We are jointly working with the NDS director and have spoken about this — especially as they came here not able to speak in Dari or Pashtu but speaking in Urdu. It means obviously there is someone who guided those attackers and helped the attackers," Sadat said.
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