Kabul, May 23 :
Three heavily armed guerrillas mounted a brazen attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat city Friday, with one attacker being gunned down while he was trying to scale the consulate wall. India said its staff were safe.
The Indian consulate in Herat came under terror attack at 3.25 a.m. and it continued for several hours, police said.
The audacious attack comes ahead of May 26 swearing-in ceremony of India’s next prime minister Narendra Modi. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has confirmed that he will attend the oath-taking ceremony.
Syed Akbaruddin, external affairs ministry spokesman, told IANS in New Delhi: “All the staff of the Indian consulate are safe. The attack is continuing and more details can be given only once it stops.”
Police said three gunmen opened fire on the consulate from a nearby home with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. One of them was shot dead while he was trying to scale the wall of the consulate.
The two other attackers were surrounded by over 150 security personnel, including troopers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, said a Herat police official. Herat is over 600 km from Kabul.
The choice for attacking Herat has surprised many as the city, which lies near Afghanistan’s border with Iran, is considered one of the safest in the country.