Afghanistan: Terrorists gunned down after 25-hour gunfight at the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif

Military choppers of the Afghanistan security forces have dropped commandos atop the building holding the remaining militants and the battle is "inching towards final assault."

By: Express News Service | Kabul/new Delhi | Updated: January 5, 2016 8:50 am
afghanistan, afghanistan indian consulate, indian consulate afghanistan Afghan security forces surround a house which is used by a group of gunmen to attack on the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 4, 2016. (Source: AP)

An intense 25-hour gun battle between security forces and terrorists outside the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif came to an end on Monday night after all the attackers who attempted to storm the building were gunned down.

“The clearance operation is over and all the terrorists have been killed,” said provincial police chief Sayed Kamal Sadat, according to AFP.

An Indian government source said: “Afghan officials have confirmed that the operation has ended.”

Some reports said one of the attackers was captured alive but there was no confirmation on it.

One policeman was killed and 11 others injured in the encounter, AFP quoted Afghan government spokesman Shir Jan Durrani as saying.

Earlier on Monday evening, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called up PM Narendra Modi who told him that India will always stand with the people of Afghanistan notwithstanding the terror attack.

Ghani briefed Modi about the incident and Modi expressed appreciation for the exemplary bravery and courage shown by the Afghan forces in thwarting the attack and ensuring safety of the consulate staff.

Sources in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards various Indian missions in Afghanistan, said two of the five terrorists had tried to storm the consulate and fired rockets. They added that at least seven rocket-propelled grenade rounds were fired, but all missed.

In retaliation, ITBP personnel fired from within the consulate premises. Soon, Afghan forces arrived and engaged the terrorists.

Officials added that while there has been no damage to the five-storeyed Consulate building, the adjacent building, from where the terrorists were firing, has been badly hit by fire from Afghan forces. “There has been no damage to the diplomats and consulate staff,” they said.

Security of the consulate was recently heightened after the ITBP deployed over 35 commandos at Indian missions in Kabul, Jalalabad, Herat, Kandhar and Mazar-i-Sharif.

[with PTI inputs]