Gunmen attack India Consulate in Afghanistan

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Heavily-armed gunmen have launched an attack on the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat, police say.

According to police provincial chief Abdul Sami Qatra, at least three assailants, who were armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, opened fire on the consulate from a nearby home on Friday.

However, there were no immediate reports of casualties among the staff at the mission.

Qatra and local police spokesman Raouf Ahmadi noted that police killed two of the gunmen.

Meanwhile, reacting to the attack, India’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told TimesNow TV, “Our consulate and our diplomatic presence in Afghanistan have been under threat.” He said that a deployment of the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police at the consulate held off the attack until Afghan forces reached the scene.

The Friday attack was the latest in a long line of assaults against Indian targets in Afghanistan. In August 2013, nine Afghans, including several children, were killed in a bomb attack on the Indian Consulate in the Afghan city of Jalalabad near the border with Pakistan. No Indian officials were hurt.

In 2008, a car bomb at the Indian Embassy in Kabul left 60 people dead. The embassy was hit by another attack in 2009.

New Delhi has invested over $2 billion in Afghan projects, including roads and power projects. The country is considering requests for providing Kabul with military assistance in its battle against Taliban.

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