- Terror group claimed responsibility, Site Intel Group says
- Attack follows U.S., China, Pakistan, Afghanistan meet
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on Pakistan’s consulate in Afghanistan that killed six people, days after unidentified militants stormed the Indian consulate in another province.
The terror group said two attackers detonated explosive belts while a third escaped, U.S.-based monitor SITE Intel Group said on Twitter. Ataulla Khogiani, the provincial government’s spokesman, had earlier said militants rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the gates of the building and those who entered were killed by Afghan forces.
The attack underscores obstacles faced by Afghan, American, Chinese and Pakistani officials, who met in Islamabad on Monday to discuss a proposed second round of peace talks with the Taliban. More than 11 people were injured in Wednesday’s attack.
"Attacks like this will pressure Pakistan to continue using Taliban militants to defend itself and target rivals’ interests in Afghanistan," Ahmad Saeedi, an independent security analyst and a former Afghan diplomat in Pakistan, said by phone.
India and Pakistan accuse each other of using Afghan territory to destabilize the others’ interests. The Indian and Pakistani consulates in Jalalabad are located in the same vicinity, as are several schools.
Locals had been queuing up to apply for visas at the time of the attack and some of the injured are students, Tolonews television channel reported. Four Afghan policeman -- security guards at the consulate -- and two civilians were killed, Khogiani said. All consulate staffers are safe, said Qazi Khalilullah, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry.
Last year was Afghanistan’s deadliest since 2001, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri. The Taliban last night attacked police checkpoints in Southern Helmand province, killing 10 policemen, said Omar Zwaq, spokesman for the province.