Indian consulate attacked in Herat; Karzai calls Modi

Indian consulate attacked in Herat; Karzai calls Modi

All the staff members at the consulate, including Indians, were safe after the attack as four gunmen were killed by Afghan army personnel.

By Sonny Abraham

Published: Sat 24 May 2014, 11:02 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:02 AM

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Indian Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi after unidentified gunmen attacked the Indian consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, and assured him that his government would take all possible steps to protect Indian missions in the country.

All the staff members at the consulate, including Indians, were safe after the attack. Four gunmen were killed by Afghan army personnel in an exchange of fire that followed the attack.

According to Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, Modi thanked Karzai for the efforts by Afghan forces in thwarting the attack.

Karzai is among the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries’ leaders slated to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony here on Monday evening. He confirmed that upto four attackers had been killed in the exchange of fire and that the staff at the consulate were safe and their morale high. He said India was monitoring the situation continuously.

The attack took place around 3.15am when the gunmen tried to storm the consulate. One of the gunmen was killed while trying to sneak in. The others took positions in nearby buildings and opened fire, but were ultimately shot dead by security forces.

Earlier, Akbaruddin had said that personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), a para-military force, deployed to protect the consulate, had repulsed the attack, and that they were soon joined by men of the Afghan army. “All safe. Operation underway,” he had said on micro-blogging site Twitter. He said Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was monitoring the situation on a continuous basis. Afghan officials were also in touch with India in this regard, he added.

Modi spoke to Indian Ambassador in Kabul Amar Sinha and enquired about the situation. He promised all support from the government to the staff at the consulate in Herat.

“I condemn the attack on our consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. Closely monitoring the situation. I have spoken to the ambassador as well,” Modi said on Twitter.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee strongly condemned the attack and commended the bravery shown by all Indian and Afghan staff members of the consulate. He expressed gratitude to the Afghanistan security forces for having quickly responded to the situation and come to the assistance of the consulate, ensuring the safety of its staff and officers.

He asked ministry of external affairs to remain in close touch with Afghanistan authorities to ensure the continued safety of Indian diplomatic personnel in the country.

Mukherjee said India would stand united and strong in defending its security and interests wherever they may be threatened.

He called upon Indian security forces to remain alert and give a fitting response to any attempt to harm the country and its people.

The president said such terror attacks would not deter India’s efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to reconstruct and develop their nation.

More news from WORLD