Siege in Afghanistan ends, Indian mission safe

In intense 25-hour gunbattle between security forces and terrorists out side the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif came to end late on Monday, Jan 4, night with the killing of all the attackers without any damage to the mission in Afghanistan.

While three of the attackers were killed on Sunday night, the remaining were neutralised a day later. “The clearance operation is over and all the terrorists have al been killed,” provincial police chief Sayed Kamal Sada was quoted as saying by AFP.

The diplomatic mission manned by about 45 ITBP commandos, is highly vulnerable to attacks as it is located in a densely populated residential area and the buildings around it are taller than the consulate, leaving it exposed to attacks by rocket launchers.

Top government sources said that the first RPG was fired by militants from a 100meter distance and was directed at the Indian consulate, but it missed the building and hit another building nearby . That’s when ITBP commandos at the sentry post fired at the terrorists.

From 9 pm to 9.15pm on Sunday, ITBP officials en gaged with militants and there was heavy exchange of fire. Sources said that at least seven rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds were fired towards the consulate but all of them missed the target. Later, Afghan national police commandos secured the Indian consulate around 12 midnight.

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A senior officer said that there was no intelligence input from either side -India or Afghanistan -on any possible terror attack at the consulate. ITBP director general Krishna Chaudhary said the force has secured the mission area effectively. “I can assure you that my men are in a state of very high morale. I first talked to them when the attack started Sunday night and I am in constant touch with them,” he said without going into further details about the incident.


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