At least four persons were killed and over 100 were injured when a suicide car bomber of Taliban attacked the German consulate in northern Afghanistan late on Thursday.
According to a senior police official, the suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden car into the wall of German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif city, destroying the gate and wall around 11.10 pm local time.
“Police have surrounded the area and our forces are inside the compound,” Abdul Raziq Qaderi, head of security for Balkh province, said.
The Taliban issued a statement saying they had sent suicide attackers to the consulate.
They called it a ‘revenge attack’ for US airstrikes in the volatile province of Kunduz earlier this month that left up to 32 civilians dead.
The huge explosion, followed by sporadic gunfire, reverberated across the usually tranquil city yesterday, smashing windows of nearby shops and leaving terrified local residents fleeing for cover.
The German Foreign Ministry said that there was an ‘armed attack’ on the consulate but didn't specify the nature of the attack or mention any casualties.
The statement said there had been fighting outside and on the grounds of the consulate and that Afghan security forces and troops from the international Resolute Support mission were at the scene.
Mazar-i-Sharif is the capital of Balkh province and one of the most important cities in the country. Residents in the city reported hearing a huge explosion near the consulate that shattered windows in buildings nearby.
Germany has 983 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, most of them in Balkh, as part of NATO's Resolute Support mission.
The Taliban's insurgency has spread from their southern heartland across the country in the past two years.