ISLAMABAD: A blast occurred outside the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, killing 9 people and wounding 22, on Saturday.
“I have heard the explosion that was followed by small arms firing,” Enyat Saafi, a local journalist told The Express Tribune via phone from Jalalabad, the capital of Ningarhar province.
Afghan TV channels reported that the attack injured several people and ambulances were seen moving to the area to transfer the injured to hospitals.
“It seemed to be a powerful explosion as the sound was heard in areas away from the consulate,” the journalist said. He said the police are also not allowing the journalist to move to the area.
Witnesses said the attack occurred near 200 meters away from the Indian consulate.
A diplomat at the Indian Embassy in Kabul said that no Indian national was hurt in the attack.
Nangarhar police chief Mohammad Sharif Amin told Reuters a bomber detonated a car packed with explosives outside the consulate and an adjacent mosque. The consulate was the intended target, he said, but most casualties were from the mosque.
A doctor at Jalalabad hospital told the media that nearly 15 injured were brought to the hospital. Some were in critical condition. Women and children were among the blast victims.
He said the blast was occurred on the main road leading to the Indian consulate and near a hotel.
Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.
“We are not involved in the today’s Jalalabad blast,” the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune in a text message when he was approached for his reaction.
No other group claimed responsibility.