A suicide car bomber has struck the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing at least one person and wounding 20 others, a government source has told Al Jazeera.
The bombing on Thursday was claimed by the Taliban, which called it a “revenge attack” for a US air strike in the volatile province of Kunduz earlier this month that left up to 32 civilians dead.
This is Taliban Country
According to local police, “the suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden car into the wall of German consulate in the city”.
A German military spokesman told Reuters news agency that shots were also heard outside the consultate and that NATO troops were on the site.
A Taliban spokesman told Al Jazeera that several fighters of the armed group had entered the building and that clashes were ongoing.
The government source, however, did not confirm if fighting was still ongoing.
Germany has 938 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, most of them in Balkh, the province where Mazar-i-Sharif is located, as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission.
US forces admitted last week that its air strikes “very likely” resulted in civilian killings in Kunduz, pledging a full investigation into the incident.
The Taliban, who seized power and ruled Afghanistan from 1996, were toppled by a US-led invasion after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.
Almost 15 years later, about 13,000 troops from a US-NATO coalition remain in the country.
In the past year alone, the Taliban’s armed campaign has killed or wounded about 11,000 civilians, as well as 5,500 government troops and police officers.
Source: Al Jazeera News And Agencies