At least one person has lost his life and more than three dozen others sustained injuries when a car bomb targeted the German consulate building in Afghanistan’s northern province of Balkh.
— Ehsan (@ehsan_af) November 10, 2016
Local police chief Sayed Kamal Sadat said the attacker rammed his explosives-laden car into the wall of the consulate in the provincial capital city of Mazar-i-Sharif, located some 400 kilometers northwest of the capital Kabul, late on Thursday, killing at least one person and wounding 29 others.
Residents said they heard a “huge” blast as the attack took place. The force of the explosion shattered the windows of nearby buildings.
The Taliban militant group later claimed responsibility for the act of violence.
There are reports that a fierce exchange of gunfire is underway near the consulate, and that some of the assailants have even managed to gain access to the diplomatic mission.
Taliban militants were removed from power following the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but they have stepped up their activities in recent months, attempting to overrun several provinces.
Afghan forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with Taliban to contain the ongoing insurgency across various parts of the violence-wracked country.
Meanwhile, there are growing concerns that the Takfiri Daesh terror network, which is mainly active in Iraq and neighboring Syria, is seeking to gain a foothold in Afghanistan’s troubled eastern part.
Daesh has reportedly managed to recruit Taliban defectors in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan. The terrorist group has reportedly recruited some 2,500 Afghan members.
The rising violence in Afghanistan comes despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops in the country.