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Authorities: Suicide Bomber Attacks Police Near Kabul Airport

Kabul, Afghanistan

Authorities in Afghanistan say a suicide car bomber struck a police check post near Kabul’s international airport Monday but reported no casualties.

Police in the Afghan capital say the bomber apparently wanted to target a convoy of foreign forces and confirmed one of the vehicles was slightly damaged.

The violence comes as several heavily-armed assailants were still holed up in a building just meters from India’s consulate in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif and a gunfight fight was underway with Afghan security forces.

The siege in the Balkh province began Sunday night when a group of gunmen attempted to storm the consulate by firing rockets at the facility before retreating into the adjacent building.

Provincial Governor Atta Mohammad Noor, who is personally commanding the clearing operation, told VOA Monday that “at least three attackers” are shooting at Afghan security forces from inside the building.

So far, no-one has claimed responsibility for the consulate attack.

Afghan police have confirmed that five security personnel and three civilians are among at least eight people wounded in the firefight.

Residents in the area told reporters shortly after the standoff began they heard two loud explosions followed by bursts of automatic gunfire. “We are under fire,” Barjabashi Sardar, India’s Consul General in Mazar-e-Sharif, told the Indian media, adding “everybody is safe” because nobody could enter the consulate.

This is not the first time an Indian diplomatic facility has come under militant attack in Afghanistan. Suicide bombers assaulted India’s consulates in the Afghan cities of Herat city in 2014 and Jalalabad city near the Pakistani border in 2013.