India undaunted by attack, Af support to continue

Attack on Indian Consul: Afghan President Ghani briefs PM Modi about strike

India undaunted by attack, Af support to continue

A day after terrorists from Pakistan launched an attack on the Consulate General of India at Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, New Delhi sent out a strong message to Islamabad, making it clear that such terror strikes could not deter it from providing security and development support to the Afghan government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told Afghan President M Ashraf Ghani that India would always stand with the people of Afghanistan. Pakistan, which has been seeking a “strategic depth” in Afghanistan, is understood to be wary of India’s role in reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

According to an AFP report, an intense 25-hour gun-battle between security forces and terrorists outside the Indian Consulate came to end late on Monday night with the killing of all the attackers who attempted to storm the Mission building. While three of the attackers were killed in the gunfight overnight, the remaining were neutralised by the night.

Ghani called Prime Minister Modi and briefed about the terrorist attack in Mazar-e-Sharif and the response by the soldiers of the ANSF.

Reports reaching New Delhi indicated that the ANSF used a chopper to drop its commandos on the roof of the building occupied by terrorists near the consulate of India.

India’s diplomatic missions in Afghanistan came under repeated attack from terrorist organizations based in Pakistan.

None of the officials of the Consulate General of India was hurt in the latest attack in Mazar-e-Sharif, but five ANSF soldiers and two civilians living in the area were injured.

Sources in New Delhi said that the terrorists hurled bombs and fired at the consulate from at least one of the nearby buildings.

While the personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police secured the premises of the consulate, the ANSF soldiers engaged the terrorists and gunned down at least two of them.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, the prime minister conveyed to President of Afghanistan his “deep appreciation for the exemplary bravery and courage shown by the ANSF in thwarting the terrorist attack in Mazar-e-Sharif and ensuring security and safety of the Consulate General of India and its personnel.”

ITBP soldiers are deployed to guard the Embassy of India in Kabul as well as Indian consulates in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar and Jalalabad. “I can assure you that my men are in a state of very high morale. I first talked to them when the attack started on Sunday night and I am in constant touch with them,” Press Trust of India quoted Director General of ITBP, K Chaudhary, stating in New Delhi.

The hour-long siege however continued for several hours and the security personnel launched a search operation around the consulate in the early on Monday. The terrorists sneaked into a building next to the consulate and took positions in different floors before launching the attack.

 The ANSF personnel on Monday started clearing it floor-by-floor. Security personnel saw bodies of at least two terrorists being dragged away by other members of the gang, which possibly comprised at least five heavily-armed men.

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