• Blast kills 9 near Indian consulate in Afghanistan

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    JALALABAD, Afghanistan: Suicide bombers detonated an explosives-packed car outside the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Saturday, officials said, killing at least nine civilians.

    A spokesman for the Taliban militants immediately denied any responsibility for the attack, which rocked the city and left several houses, tailors and other nearby shops badly damaged.

    “A car containing explosives hit a barrier near the consulate and detonated,” Ahmadzia Abdulzai, spokesman for Nangarhar province, of which Jalalabad is the capital, told Agence France-Presse. “There were three suicide bombers in the car.”

    Nangarhar police chief Sharif Amin said that at least eight civilians had been killed and 22 wounded in the strike, with many children and old people among the victims.

    The casualty figures were confirmed by officials at the private hospital that received the dead and wounded.

    Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for the Indian foreign ministry in New Delhi, said on his Twitter feed that the attack had been “in front” of the consulate, but that all officials were safe.

    AFP

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