The Afghan security forces has presently unfolded the attack, by killing all the terrorists involved in the attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, ending a 25-hour siege that had heightened concern about India's security.
On Sunday (3rd January) night, some 5 or 6 militants had tried to storm the Indian consulate in Kabul. However, the prompt action by the Afghan forces repelled the attack.
Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mr. Amar Sinha confirmed all the personnel in the consulate are safe. Afghan security forces have also carried out a door-to-door search in the area to make sure the area is secured.
The incident came as Indian security forces battled to secure an air base near its border with Pakistan that was overrun by militants disguised as soldiers. Seven soldiers were confirmed killed in the raid on the Pathankot base, which triggered several hours’ gun battle, killing all the six terrorists involved.
The Indian missions in Afghanistan have come under attack in the past. The consulate assault is the latest in a series of attacks on Indian targets in Afghanistan. In 2008 and 2009, the embassy in Kabul was attacked twice, with dozens killed.
In May 2014, the Indian consulate in Herat was attacked, while in August 2013 several civilians died when the consulate in Jalalabad was targeted.
Earlier, in December, just few days before this attack, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Afghanistan’s Parliament building, which was built by India at a cost of $90 million. The building project started in 2007, is seen as a mark of friendship and cooperation to help rebuild Afghanistan after the wars. The PM Modi also addressed a joint session of the two Afghan Houses in the new Parliament complex.
India reportedly invested some $2 billion in aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan and trained scores of officers. Modi’s visit to Kabul was not officially announced for security reasons.
The process of resumption of talks, which was set in motion after a meeting between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris on November 30, followed by the Indian PM surprise ‘Birthday Diplomacy’ with Pakistan, is in jeopardy. India is reportedly “mulling options” with regard to the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled to be held in Islamabad on January 15, in light of the terror attacks at Pathankot air base and Mazar-i-Sharif, in Afghanistan.