Attackers from an as-yet-unknown faction have attacked the Indian consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazer-e Sharif, setting off a series of explosions outside the gates before rushing the compound with small arms fire.
Security officials say the attackers did not successfully get into the consulate, however, and that they had fled into an adjacent building, where they have remained for several hours. Despite several exchanges of gunfire there was no word of casualties on either side.
India has been keen to establish itself as an ally to Afghanistan, with an eye toward keeping Pakistan out of the country. This rivalry has fueled a lot of diplomatic rancor, and also militant attacks on the ground.
This is the third Indian consulate attacked in as many years in Afghanistan. The compounds in Jalalabad and Herat were also attacked in the past. The Kabul Embassy was also hit twice in 2008 and 2009, with large numbers of casualties.