World Bulletin/News Desk
A handful of heavily armed fighters launched a rocket propelled grenade and gun attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's western city of Herat hours before dawn on Friday, officials said.
Indian staff at the mission escaped soon after the shooting began at around 3 a.m.. Police said Afghan security forces had killed the attackers, who were holed up in buildings overlooking the consulate, following a firefight that lasted several hours.
He said there had been around 10 staff resident at the consulate in Herat, which stands close to the border with Iran and is Afghanistan's third largest city.
"There were three suicide bombers armed with AK-47, RPG, hand grenade and suicide vests. Our security forces killed all of them. Only five of our security forces were wounded."
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack and no one claimed responsibility, though suspicion would inevitably fall on the Taliban and other loosely associated groups .
Militants have repeatedly attacked Indian targets in Afghanistan. Last August, an assault on the Indian consulate in the eastern city of Jalalabad killed at least nine people, and earlier this year a bomber was gunned down near the consulate in the southern city of Kandahar.
In 2008, bombers attacked the Indian embassy in the capital, Kabul, killing about 50 people and wounding scores. There was another attack on the embassy in 2009.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry was quick to issue a condemnation of the attack on the Indian consulate.
"No cause justifies targeting of diplomatic missions. It is a matter of relief that no one from the Consulate staff was hurt," the ministry said in a statement issued in Islamabad.Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2014, 11:22