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12 killed in attack on Indian consulate in eastern Afghan city
Twelve people, including three attackers, were killed and 24 others wounded Saturday in shooting and ensuing suicide car bombing near the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, authorities said.
"Nine civilians were killed in the coordinated suicide attack in the 3rd police district near the Indian consulate in Jalalabad at around 10:00 a.m. local time Saturday," the provincial government said in a statement.
Most of the casualties were children as the blast took place near a mosque where dozens of children attended religious classes in the city, 120 km east of the Afghan capital Kabul, the provincial police chief Sharifullah Amin said.
"The attackers tried to assault the consulate office. But the security forces were alerted about the attack on the compound. Following the arrival of the attackers, two militants got off a sedan and fired on security forces. But the third man detonated the explosive-packed car causing casualties," the statement said, adding those militants were killed in the blast.
One local security force member was also injured.
No damages were inflicted on the consulate and no Indian staff was hurt in the incident, the consulate sources told local media.
The explosion also severely damaged several houses and shops nearby.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, told local media from undisclosed location via cell phone that the Taliban insurgents were not behind the attack.
The provincial governor Gul Agha Shirzai and the country's Interior Ministry strongly condemned the attack as the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan draws to an end.
[Source: Xinhua, Jalalabad, 03Aug13]
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