Taliban attacks German consulate in Afghanistan, kills 4

Taliban fighters

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, officials on Friday said Taliban militants killed four people in an attack at German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

A NATO spokesman said that the militants rammed a truck laden with bomb into the outer wall of the consulate before battling security forces in a late-night attack and killing the victims in the process.

The spokesman said that the explosion, triggered by a suicide bomber, caused extensive damage to the building and shattered windows as far as five kilometres away.

A local doctor said that the blast and subsequent fire also wounded 120 people.

However, no consular staff member was among the victims.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Germany would review its lead role in the international mission in northern Afghanistan, where violence had escalated sharply in 2016.

The attack which occurred on Thursday underlines one of the tougher foreign policy challenges facing U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, when he takes office in January.

U.S. combat operations against the Taliban largely ended in 2014, but thousands of its soldiers remained in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

The Taliban said that the attack was in retaliation for NATO air strikes against a village near the northern city of Kunduz on Saturday in which over 30 people, many of them children, were killed.

“Heavily armed fighters, including suicide bombers, had been sent “with a mission to destroy the German consulate general and kill whoever they found there,” the Islamist militant movement’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on telephone.

Taliban forces came close to over-running Kunduz in October, a year after briefly capturing it in their biggest success in Afghanistan’s 15-year-long war.



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