11 dead, as many wounded as Jalalabad attack ends
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Seven security officials and three attackers were killed and another 11 people were wounded on Wednesday morning following a suicide attack and a gun-battle that lasted four hours near the Pakistani consulate in eastern Nangarhar province.
Local officials said the injured included a Pakistani diplomat, three civilians and seven security personnel. The health condition of all of the wounded was called stable.
The suicide attack took place at around 9am in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, the governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Earlier today, Khogyani said two civilians had also been killed and another two wounded in the attack.
After the suicide blast, another two bombers entered a nearby guesthouse and started firing at security personnel. The clash ended at around 12noon with the death of all the three attackers, the Nangarhar police chief said, adding that seven security personnel were killed.
Maj. Gen. Fazal Ahmad Sherzad said another seven security officials and three civilians were wounded in the carnage. The first suicide bomber targeted a police vehicle in the area, killing two policemen on the spot. “The attackers possibly planned to attack the Pakistan consulate, but our security forces prevented them,” he said.
Eyewitness Mohammad Saleem said two bombers entered the guesthouse of Nangarhar’s Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Girdiwal near the consulate and engaged security personnel.
“The bomber came on foot near a police vehicle and grabbed a gun from a policeman before detonating his suicide vest,” said another witness Fazli Ilahi. He saw two dead bodies and some injured people at the scene.
After the attack, Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi visited the area and told reporters that the attackers wanted to storm the Pakistani consulate but they were killed before reaching their target.
He said the assailants equipped with weapons entered a guesthouse and locked up in an intense gunbattle with Afghan forces.
“A Pakistani diplomat is slightly wounded as a result of falling window glasses during the attack,” Kunduzi added.
An official of the consulate, Farmanullah Yousufzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News that “one of our friends was wounded by flying window glasses shattered during the fight.”
To a question, the diplomat said: “There are several groups who carry out such attacks, we do not know which one is involved; it is most likely that we were the target.”
Indian and Iranian diplomatic missions, a hospital as well as a private school are located in the neighbourhood. Nangarhar is home to militants of all stripes, including Daesh and Taliban.
A statement from the Ministry of Interior said militants carried out a suicide attack on police vehicle near the Pakistani consulate, killing two policemen.
“After the attack, two terrorists hid in a guesthouse near the consulate and opened fire at the security personnel,” the statement said, adding that an operation had been launched to eliminate the assailants.
Pakistan strongly condemned the attack and requested the government of Afghanistan to thoroughly investigate it and bring the culprits to book.
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