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Afghan forces battle insurgents near Indian consulate

Monday, January 04, 2016 - 01:11

Afghan special forces fight insurgents barricaded in a house near the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif after an overnight attack. Natasha Howitt reports.

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This is the site where Afghan special forces have been fighting insurgents who tried to enter the Indian consulate in northern Afghanistan. The small group of gunmen barricaded themselves in a nearby building after failing to get into the compound late on Sunday. The provincial governor said the goal was to eliminate them. (SOUNDBITE)(Dari) ATTA MOHAMMAD NOOR, GOVERNOR OF BALKH PROVINCE, SAYING: "Several units from the security forces are deployed in the area. Our main goal is to heavily storm the enemy inside the building and then find a way to eliminate them. We will of course keep you updated with more developments." At least one civilian was wounded and five security force personnel slightly injured by a hand grenade. India's ambassador said all consulate staff were safe. Officials have blamed "enemies of peace and stability" for the attack, though it wasn't immediately clear who was behind it. It comes amid renewed efforts to lower tensions between India and Pakistan, and restart peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sunday's attack, and a separate assault on an Indian air base in northwest India, highlight how difficult any push to improve stability is likely to be.

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Afghan forces battle insurgents near Indian consulate

Monday, January 04, 2016 - 01:11