MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan, Nov. 10 (UPI) — A suicide car bomb at the German consulate in Afghanistan killed two and injured more than 100, three of whom were Afghan police officers.
The Taliban took credit for a car bomb Thursday night that was driven into the side of the German consulate and detonated, which the militant group said was in response to U.S. airstrikes a week ago that killed more than 30 civilians.
After the explosion, fighting continued both inside and outside the consulate as other militants were turned back from the complex by German, Afghan and NATO troops.
#Mazar: There has been fighting outside+on the premises of the German Consulate General. Afghan security+@ResoluteSupport forces are on-site
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) November 10, 2016
Mazar-i-Sharif is the capital of the Balkh province and is one of the most peaceful cities in the country, and is not a Taliban stronghold.
Local residents said they heard and felt the explosion, which was described as “very powerful” by local Police Chief Abdul Razaq Qaderi and reportedly shattered windows in nearby buildings, which caused many of the injuries connected to the attack.
The Taliban quickly took credit for the car bombing in an email to the media, saying it was in response to recent U.S. airstrikes that killed more than 30 civilians in Kunduz.
The Nov. 3 airstrikes were called in by U.S. troops who were accompanying Afghan forces on a “train, advise, assist” mission targeting Taliban commanders in the city. When the soldiers came under heavy gunfire, they called for air support.
The airstrikes killed at least 30 civilians and four Afghan special forces soldiers, and injured at least 46 civilians and two U.S. soldiers. Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said an investigation had already been launched into the raid, airstrikes and significant loss of innocent lives.