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    Afghan security forces and NATO troops arrive at the site of explosion near the German consulate office in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan November 11, 2016

    Attack on German Consulate in Afghanistan Kills Six, Staff Not Injured

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    A late night attack on the German consulate in northern Afghanistan left six people dead and many wounded, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday, adding that none of the staff were injured.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into the walled compound in Mazar-i-Sharif late Thursday, dealing huge damage to the building and triggering a firefight between gunmen and security forces.

    "My deepest condolences go to the relatives of the victims – six have been confirmed so far. Our thoughts are with the many casualties and wounded," the minister told reporters in Berlin.

    Steinmeier added that neither German nor Afghan staffers of the general consulate had been injured. The attack was repelled by the consulate’s security personnel, Afghan security forces, as well as German, Georgian, Belgian and Latvian special operations forces of the international Resolute Support mission.

    On a related note, Director of Balkh province hospital confirmed to Sputnik on the same day that six people were killed in the car bomb attack on the German consulate, adding that 129 more were injured.

    "Six people were killed while 129 others were injured, among them are women and children, and they are now in a stable condition,"  the director said.

    He added that the majority of injuries were caused by broken glass particles.

    The Taliban said it carried out the Thursday attack, reportedly in retaliation for NATO airstrikes that were carried out in Kunduz last week.

    The city of Mazar-i-Sharif is the third largest in Afghanistan and hosts a NATO base. Tajikistan has four representations in Afghanistan, including a consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif.

    Afghanistan is currently in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency. The instability has persisted in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion aimed at defeating the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.


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