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3 terrorists killed outside Indian mission in Afghanistan; op ends

Last updated on: January 05, 2016 03:37 IST

An intense 25-hour gun-battle between security forces and terrorists outside the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif came to end 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.

"Afghan officials have confirmed that the operation has ended," said a Indian government source.

"The clearance operation is over and all the terrorists have all been killed," said provincial police chief Sayed Kamal Sadat, according to AFP.

Some reports said one of the attackers was captured alive but there was no confirmation about it. A group of terrorists had attacked the Consulate at around 9.15 pm yesterday with an aim of storming the building but their plan was thwarted by the security forces.

Earlier, official sources said special combat units of the Afghan National Police had recovered three bodies from outside the Indian consulate.

Subsequently, some more terrorists were holed up in a five-storey building about 100 metres across the road from the Indian consulate and security forces had launched a  daunting onslaught to neutralise them.

"Our search operation is still going on inside the building," AFP quoted government spokesman Shir Jan Durrani as saying.

According to him, one policeman was killed and 11 others injured in the encounter.

Earlier on Monday evening, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi who told him that India will always stand with the people of Afghanistan notwithstanding the terror attack on the Consulate.

Ghani briefed Modi about the incident and Modi expressed deep appreciation for the exemplary bravery and courage shown by the Afghan National Security Forces in thwarting the terrorist attack and ensuring security and safety of the Indian consulate and personnel.

Officials said the consulate came under attack at around 9.15 pm on Sunday night with at least two militants trying to "storm". Indo Tibetan Border Police Force guards deployed on the sentry post foiled their attempt by raining heavy fire on them.

They said at least seven rocket-propelled grenade rounds were fired in the direction of the Consulate but all missed it.

Officials added that while there has been no damage to the five-storeyed and pink-coloured consulate building. A strong contingent of over four-dozen ITBP commandos has been securing this facility from 2008 apart from three other missions in the country and the main Embassy in the capital, Kabul.

The security of these sensitive facilities were recently heightened after the ITBP deployed over 35 commandos at Indian missions in Kabul, Jalalabad, Herat, Kandhar and Mazar-i-Sharif.

Image: Afghan National Army personnel keep watch during an operation near the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. Afghan Special Forces prepared to clear insurgents barricaded in a house near the Indian consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Monday after an overnight attack that coincided with an assault on an Indian air base near the border with Pakistan. Photograph: Anil Usyan/Reuters

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