Afghan official: Indian consulate attack kills 2, wounds 19

AP News
Posted: Mar 02, 2016 6:45 AM
Afghan official: Indian consulate attack kills 2, wounds 19

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — At least two civilians have been killed in an attempted car bomb attack on the Indian consulate in the eastern city of Jalalabad, an Afghan official said on Wednesday.

Another 19 civilians were wounded in the suicide bombing. He says all five attackers were killed, said Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, where Jalalabad is the capital.

An official at the Indian embassy in Kabul, Anil Kumar, said all consulate staff members are safe.

The front wall of the well-fortified consulate building had not been breached, he said. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

The attack follows a similar incident outside the nearby Pakistani consulate in January, which killed one person.

Indian facilities in Afghanistan have long been vulnerable to insurgent violence, with a number of deadly attacks on the embassy in Kabul, as well as Indian-financed hospitals and other projects, claiming many lives in recent years.

India is a particular target as the Taliban are believed to be a proxy force of the Pakistani authorities often used to keep India's influence in Afghanistan in check. The Pakistanis have denied having such influence over the Taliban, though Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has recently stepped up his rhetoric to directly accuse Islamabad of sponsoring the Taliban and providing the leadership with safe haven in cities close to the Afghan border.

Meanwhile, a district governor says that four policemen were killed in an insurgent attack on their checkpoint.

Aminullah Khalq, governor of Dihrawud district, says the attack Monday wounded two policemen.

Police checkpoints are the target of frequent attacks by insurgents across the country as they are generally in remote areas and are poorly manned.