MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan Explosions and gunshots were heard near the Indian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Sunday and an unknown number of gunmen attempted to enter the compound, a spokesman for the local governor said.
No details were immediately available on any casualties or damage or on the number of attackers and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Muneer Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the Balkh province governor, said insurgents had hidden in a house near the consulate and struck after darkness fell. He said attackers had tried to enter the consulate but had so far not been able to.
"Right now our security forces are fighting them," he said.
An Indian official said there had been no reports of Indian casualties so far and it was not certain that the consulate itself was the target of the attack. "Details are very sketchy at this point in time," he said.
The incident occurred while Indian security forces were still trying to suppress an attack on an air base in Pathankot, near the border with Pakistan that has killed at least seven military personnel and wounded 20 others.
It came amid renewed efforts to reduce longstanding tensions between India and Pakistan and restart peace talks with the Afghan Taliban as part of a broader drive to improve stability in the region.
(Additional reporting by Krista Mahr in New Delhi; writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Ralph Boulton)
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First Published On : Jan 3, 2016 23:10 IST