ISIS claims attack on Pakistan consulate

JALALABAD (Afghanistan) • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan yesterday that was followed by a deadly gunfight lasting several hours.

Afghan officials said all three attackers and at least seven members of the security forces died during the attack by the radical Islamist movement which has, so far, avoided striking high-profile Pakistani targets.

The attack, which comes amid efforts to restart the stalled peace process with the Taleban and ease diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, resembled an assault on the Indian consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif last week.

Witnesses in Jalalabad said heavy gunfire and a series of explosions could be heard during the battle, and residents and children from a school were evacuated.

There was no immediate comment from the Pakistani government. Mr Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the suicide bomber had tried to join a queue of people seeking visas to Pakistan and blown himself up after being prevented from entering the building.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'ISIS claims attack on Pakistan consulate'. Print Edition | Subscribe