New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The government on Thursday confirmed that no Indian was injured in the attack on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Wednesday in which eight people were killed, including the five attackers, and 19 were injured.
“No member of the consulate was injured except for superficial injuries on the right hand of one of the local staff members,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup told the media here.
Giving details of the attack, he said that five terrorists approached the consulate in a van rigged with explosives around noon.
“As soon as the van breached the initial barrier of the approach road, the Afghan National Police (ANP) contingent that was protecting the consulate opened fire,” he said.
“Four of the five terrorists exited the van and returned fire.”
Swarup said that as the van could not get sufficiently close to the consulate, one of the terrorists blew it up shattering the doors and windows of the building.
Another terrorist approached the gate but realising that he had no cover, blew himself up.
“The remaining attackers were engaged by the Afghan National Police and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel for another half an hour until they were neutralised one after the other,” the spokesman said.
He said commandos of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) posted there took their designated positions but did not engage directly with the attackers as the ANP and NDS were actively engaging them.
The entire encounter lasted about 45 minutes during which three people were killed.
Swarup said that according to the NDS, 19 persons, mostly ANP guards, were injured. Two of the ANP guards are in serious condition.
Later, senior officials, including the ANP and NDS chiefs of Nangarhar province as well as the provincial governor, visited the consulate and reassured the staff there of all cooperation.
Additional forces from the ANP and NDS were deployed around the consulate.