6 killed in suicide attack near Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad

Kabul: A suicide bomber on Wednesday blew himself up near the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad in Afghanistan on Wednesday morning, killing at least six people including two police officers and wounding two, officials said.

According to the witnesses, heavy gunfire and a series of explosions could be heard and residents and children from a nearby school had been evacuated.

Earlier this morning, Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor was quoted by news agencies as saying that the suicide bomber had tried to join a queue of people seeking visas to Pakistan and blew himself up after being prevented from entering the building.

Firing is on between Afghan security forces and gunmen barricaded in a house near the Pakistan consulate.

The attack happened just 200 meters from the Indian consulate, in an area where there are many foreign missions including those of Pakistan and Iran.

Reportedly, all Indians are safe. India's foreign ministry said the Indian consulate was not the target. 

Wednesday's attack is the third attack near an Indian consulate in Afghanistan in last ten days.

Last week on January 3, there was a blast in the same part of Jalalabad, that did not cause any casualties, while three insurgents were killed after an all-night gunbattle following an attack on the Indian consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

On January 8, an explosives-laden vehicle was found near the Indian consulate in Herat 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.

For now, no terror group immediately has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A senior Afghan police officer said on Tuesday that Pakistan army officers were behind the January 3 attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Sayed Kamal Sadat, police chief of Afghanistan's northern Balkh province, said the attackers, "officers from across the border, were well-trained military men who fought Afghan security forces in the 25-hour siege," Tolo News reported.

"We saw with our own eyes and I can say 99 percent that those attackers were from Pakistani military and used special tactics while conducting their operation," Mr Sadat was quoted as saying

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