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Insurgents attack Indian consulate in eastern Afghanistan - officials - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An Afghan policeman runs at the site of a suicide attack in Jalalabad province August 3, 2013. (Reuters/Parwiz)

An Afghan policeman runs at the site of a suicide attack in Jalalabad province August 3, 2013. (Reuters/Parwiz)

Kabul, Reuters—A suicide bomber attacked the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan capital of Jalalabad on Saturday, Indian officials and local police said, killing six people and wounding 22.

Gunfire resounded through the area for at least an hour following the 10 a.m. blast near the consulate entrance.

All the casualties were civilians, except for one wounded Afghan soldier, said Baz Mohammad, a senior health official in Nangarhar province.

“Explosion in front of India’s Consulate in Jalalabad. All Indians officials safe,” Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Twitter.

The attack followed a world-wide travel alert issued by the United States on Friday, saying that Al Qaeda could be planning attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The United States has ordered the closure of 21 embassies and consulates on Sunday, including its Kabul mission.

Nangarhar police chief Mohammad Sharif Amin told Reuters a bomber detonated a car packed with explosives outside the consulate and an adjacent mosque. The consulate was the intended target, he said, but most casualties were from the mosque.

Roads near the Indian consulate remained blocked as gunfire rattled through the area, deputy provincial police chief Masoom Khan Hashimi said.

Indian diplomatic missions have been targets of previous attacks in Afghanistan.

The eastern border province of Nangarhar, and its capital Jalalabad, have long been a hotbed of insurgent activity.

On Friday, a five-hour battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the province’s Shirzad district killed dozens of Afghan police and insurgents, officials said.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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