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Blast in Afghanistan kills 9 civilians near Indian Consulate

KABUL, Afghanistan — Three suicide bombers tried to attack the Indian Consulate in an eastern Afghan city on Saturday, sparking a shootout with guards that left at least nine civilians dead, officials said.

The attack, which ended when the militants detonated a car bomb that left charred debris scattered in central Jalalabad near the Pakistan border, did not appear to damage the consulate itself, and Indian officials said all of the facility's staff escaped unharmed.

Six of the dead were children studying the Koran inside a nearby mosque, according to police and Jalalabad hospital director Dr. Humayun Zahir. All three attackers also died, although it was not clear how many were killed by police fire and how many by the explosion.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, and suspicion instead fell upon Pakistan-based terrorist groups.

Groups known for targeting Indian interests include Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was blamed for the 2008 attack on Mumbai that killed 166 people, and the Haqqani network, based in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas on the border.

Deaths

As of Saturday, 2,121 U.S. troops have died in the war in Afghanistan. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:

Army Spc. Nicholas B. Burley, 22, Red Bluff, Calif.; indirect fire Tuesday; Pul-E-Alam.

Army Sgt. Eric T. Lawson. 30, Stockbridge, Ga.; explosion and small-arms fire July 27; Ghazni province.

Army Sgt. Stephen M. New, 29, Bartlett, Tenn.; small-arms fire July 28; Sarobi District of Kabul province.

Army Spc. Caryn E. Nouv, 29, Newport News, Va.; explosion and small-arms fire July 27; Ghazni province.

Blast in Afghanistan kills 9 civilians near Indian Consulate 08/03/13 [Last modified: Saturday, August 3, 2013 11:47pm]

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