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Blast, gunfire near Pakistan consulate in eastern Afghan city


Jalalabad : A suicide bombing followed by gunfire rocked an area near the Pakistani consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad today, killing at least two police officers, officials said.

Cordoning off the area, local Afghan officials at the scene said they were investigating the ongoing attack outside the consulate, which is also near the Indian diplomatic mission.

“Two policemen were killed after the suicide attack, which was followed by gunfire,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP.

“The incident occurred near the Pakistani consulate, but we are not sure if it was the intended target.”

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Indian interests have been targeted twice this month in spectacular assaults: an attack on its consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, and a raid by Islamist insurgents on an air force base in the northern Indian state of Punjab.

A small bomb also exploded near the Indian consulate in Jalalabad last Tuesday, but no casualties were reported.

The latest attack comes close on the heels of four-country talks in Islamabad aimed at reviving stalled peace talks with the Taliban.

The talks between representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States and China on Monday came even as the insurgents wage an unprecedented winter campaign of violence.

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