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Ghani Briefed Modi on Mazar Attack

Ghani_Phone_talksAFGHANISTAN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a telephone conversation on Monday that India would always stand by the people of Afghanistan despite attacks like the one on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif this week.

On Monday, Ghani briefed Modi on the terror attack in Mazar-e-Sharif, a statement from Modi’s office said.

The PM expressed deep appreciation for the exemplary bravery and courage shown by Afghan national security forces in thwarting the Mazar-e-Sharif hit, and ensuring the security and safety of the Indian consulate and all Indian personnel, the statement said.

U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meanwhile Monday condemned the attack on the consulate.

The attack on the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif “obviously is an attack which we condemn…especially an attack on a diplomatic outpost that needs to be protected,” the secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The siege on the consulate lasted 25 hours – after having started at about 8.20 pm on Sunday night and only ending at 9.30 pm Monday night when all four insurgents were killed.

Consulate security officers reportedly kept the attackers from breaching the compound but the insurgents then entered a building opposite the mission where they took cover.

The gunmen then holed up in safe rooms in the heavily fortified building for 25 hours.

After a day of heavy fighting, special forces were dropped by helicopter on to the roof of the building in a bid to eliminate the insurgents.

Officials said that during the clash, one security officer was killed and nine people were injured, including three civilians.

However, Indian officials said that all consulate staff were safe and that none of them had been injured. -Tolonews

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