Jalalabad: Explosions and gunfire rocked the area near the Indian consulate in the Jalalabad in Afghanistan on Wednesday. Witnesses claimed that at least two blasts were heard from the site. Doors and windows were shattered and at least eight cars were destroyed.
The Ministry of External Affairs claimed that all staff members are safe. "Afghan security forces are engaged in a gunbattle with terrorists. It was a suicide explosion outside Indian consulate gate. All staff members of the consulate are safe," the MEA said.
As gunfire rang out, security forces in armoured vehicles were seen moving to the scene while civilians fled.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which followed a suicide attack on the nearby Pakistani consulate in January. That attack was claimed by Islamic State, which has a growing presence in Nangarhar province, of which Jalalabad is the capital.
In January, India's consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif was also attacked by insurgents.
The explosion comes days after dozens of people were killed or wounded in suicide attacks in Kabul and the eastern province of Kunar, casting doubt on efforts to revive the stalled peace process with the Taliban.