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Attack Kills 7 in Eastern Afghanistan as Peace Efforts Resume

  • VOA News

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers arrive after a blast near the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Jan. 13, 2016.

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers arrive after a blast near the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Jan. 13, 2016.

Officials in eastern Afghanistan said a gun and bomb attack Wednesday in Jalalabad killed seven security personnel and wounded 10 people, including three civilians.

Afghan police and witnesses said the attack began with several massive explosions near the Pakistani consulate, which is located near India's consulate, a hospital and several schools.

The provincial police chief, General Fazal Mohammad Sherzad told reporters that three attackers were targeting the Pakistani consulate and planned to enter the facility from an adjacent guest house.But he said security forces surrounded the house and killed them in a two-hour gunfight.

Pakistan's foreign ministry condemned the attack and said only one consulate official was slightly injured by broken glass.A ministry statement said Pakistan has asked the Afghan government to "thoroughly investigate this incident" and to ensure the safety of Pakistani diplomatic missions and officials in Afghanistan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.Jalalabad is the capital of the eastern Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan where Taliban insurgents and fighters loyal to Islamic State are also active.

Wednesday's attack comes as delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States, meeting in Islamabad, renewed efforts aimed at ending the 15-year war between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the country's former Taliban rulers.

Talks with the Taliban have been on hold since July, when they collapsed after just one meeting following Afghanistan's announcement that longtime Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had been dead for more than two years.The Taliban called off its participation and a second meeting was canceled.

Ayaz Gul in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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