A blast near the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad has killed nine civilians, after armed guards opened fire on two men who were attempting a suicide attack, prompting them to blow up their explosives early.
The blast took place at 10 a.m. local time after three men drove up to the consulate in the border city in a van, immediately attracting the guards' attention.
When the guards opened fire on the militants, the men set off their explosives-filled car, The Associated Press reported.Twenty-four bystanders were injured by the resulting blast, and nine civilians have been killed.
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“The aim of the attack was the Indian consulate and the car was rammed into the barrier which was put outside the consulate gate for its protection,” senior police officer Ghulam Dastagir told The Washington Post of the incident.
Although the attack took place in front of the Indian consulate, none of the officials inside the facility were harmed, and no Indians were injured or killed.
Deadly attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul took place in 2008 and 2009, killing 75 people.
According to the BBC, many of the casualties in the blast — which took place near a mosque and caused damage to nearby businesses — were children.
The Taliban denied any responsibility for the attack via text message, The Washington Post notes.