Confirming that the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan was the target of a terrorist strike, the ministry of external affairs on Thursday said the reports received from the Afghan authorities on 6 January indicate that the terrorists attacked with heavy arms and ammunition (See: Afghan forces battle to stifle attack on Indian consulate).
Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel guarding the consulate, located in Balkh Province of Northern Afghanistan, kept the attackers at bay till the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) arrived at the scene to neutralise the terrorists.
Divulging details of the operation, Swarup said it lasted till the night of 4 January when the ANDSF were able to eliminate the four terrorists, who had been holed up in a building near the Consulate. "In the operation, one Afghan Police personnel lost his life, while nine ANDSF personnel were injured," he said.
"The Afghan government authorities and its various agencies, and also the provincial authorities of Balkh displayed tremendous coordination in foiling the attempt of the terrorists to attack the Indian Consulate. We salute the exemplary courage and admirable resilience shown by the ANDSF personnel during the operations, which resulted keeping the consulate officials out of harm's way," he added.
President Ashraf Ghani had earlier this week briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the terrorist attack at the consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif during a telephonic conversation.
The prime minister thanked the Afghan President for ensuring the security of the Indian Consulate General and its personnel.