Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Gun battles rage near Indian consulate in Afghan city

04 January 2016, 08:11

Mazar-i-Sharif - Gunfights raged Monday as Afghan forces battled to flush out militants holed up near the Indian consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, hours after they attempted to storm the diplomatic mission.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the raid, the latest in a series of assaults on Indian installations in the country.

Up to six assailants mounted the attack from a building close to the consulate in relatively tranquil Balkh province, prompting Afghan forces to cordon off the area.

"Our clearance operation is going on near the consulate," said Munir Farhad, a spokesman for the Balkh provincial governor, told AFP.

"Since it is a residential area, we are proceeding very cautiously to avoid civilian casualties."

An Indian official, who was hunkered down in a secure area within the diplomatic enclave, said all consulate employees were safe and accounted for.

"We are being attacked," the official told AFP by telephone from inside the heavily-guarded compound.

"Fighting is going on," he said soon after the fighting erupted late Sunday evening.

Also read: Suicide car bomb attack kills 1 near Kabul airport

Vikas Swarup, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman, also told AFP that no Indian casualties had been reported so far.

The attack followed a deadly assault over the weekend by suspected Islamist insurgents on an air force base in the northern Indian state of Punjab.

Seven soldiers and six attackers were confirmed killed in the raid on the Pathankot base, which triggered a 14-hour gun battle Saturday and spurred Indian forces to be scrambled again on Sunday.

The assaults threaten to derail Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bold diplomatic outreach to arch-rival Pakistan following his first official visit to Afghanistan.

The violence comes a week after Modi paid a surprise visit to Pakistan, the first by an Indian premier in 11 years.

The visit immediately followed a whirlwind tour of Kabul, where Modi inaugurated an Indian-built parliament complex and gifted three Russian-made helicopters to the Afghan government.

India has been a key supporter of Kabul's post-Taliban government, and analysts have often pointed to the threat of a "proxy war" in Afghanistan between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan - the historic backers of the Taliban - has long been accused of assisting the insurgents, especially with attacks on Indian targets in Afghanistan.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...