Kadul : Afghan security forces gather around the lifeless body of a terrorist at the site of a clash between terrorists and security forces at the Indian Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan on Friday. Terrorists armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades attacked the Indian Consulate.
After a nine-hour-long encounter, all four heavily-armed terrorists, who had attacked the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province, were gunned down by the security forces on Friday.
All the four gunmen, who had stormed the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province early Friday, have been gunned down, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) chief Subhas Goswami said.
“One terrorist was killed by ITBP personnel while three have been killed by Afghan forces. The attack has been successfully repulsed,” he said.
The Director General also said that security at the Indian Embassy in Kabul and consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Khandhar besides Herat has been tightened and a high alert sounded to all Indian assets based across Afghanistan.
All the diplomatic staff were safe.
In the pre-dawn assault, the terrorists armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the Consulate which houses two buildings in the western Afghan city, bordering Iran.
One attacker was killed while climbing the wall to enter the premises of the Consulate which also houses the residence of the Consul General, Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha said.
He said there were nine Indians in the mission apart from local Afghans at the time of attack.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi said that “four attackers (were) killed.”
One gunman was killed by ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) personnel while three others were shot dead by Afghan forces after a marathon encounter.
The spokesperson said that the staff at the Consulate were safe and their morale was high.
“India-Afghanistan officials (were) in touch on attack on India’s Consulate in Herat. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh (was) monitoring (the) situation,” the official said.
Afghan Police officials said gunmen opened fire on the Consulate from a nearby home. The firing lasted for nine hours.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Afghanistan has experienced a rise in the Taliban attacks as foreign troops plan to withdraw from the war-torn country by the end of the year.
In August 2013, a failed bombing against the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad city near the border with Pakistan killed nine people, including six children. No Indian officials were hurt.
The Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked twice in 2008 and 2009 that left 75 people dead.
India has invested in some major infrastructure projects in Afghanistan like Salma hydroelectric dam in Herat province and the Afghan Parliament building in Kabul.
India’s development assistance programme for Afghanistan currently stands at $ two billion, making it the leading donour nation among all regional countries.
Meanwhile, while addressing the Press conference in New Delhi NSA Syed Akabruddin said, “We condemn this cowardly terrorist attack on Indian consulate in Afghanistan in every possible manner. Our PM-designate Narendra Modi assured Afghan President Karzai that an attack of this nature wont dilute India’s will to assist Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi is in talks with Indian ambassador to India, Amar Sinha.