Aftermath of explosion on German Consulate (Image via Silab Mangal)
There was alarm on Thursday evening from residents in the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of Balkh province when windows of buildings were shattered by a loud blast. The German consulate was reported to be under attack at 11pm local time targeted with explosives by the Taliban. Reuters stated that according to a NATO spokesman the attack “involved two car bombs” and “parts of consulate (were) heavily damaged” after vehicles were rammed into the compound wall. Tolo news claimed initially that there were “4 dead, over 100 wounded” but the figure could rise.
Masood Jahish wrote on his Facebook page,
“The blast in Mazar shattered the glass and ceiling of the hall my sister was getting engaged in at the time of the explosion. Thankfully, nobody was physically hurt in the incident, but it traumatized dozens of members of my family and ruined a beautiful night for two people who started a life together. I usually look at what is happening in Afghanistan just as news, but it is incidents like this, that remind me this war could personally effect all of us.”
Shakib Mahmud tweeted the following images of damage to property,
Shattered glass led to multiple injuries in the city
(Images via Shakib Mahmud)
Tahir Qadry, Correspondent and Documentary Maker said,
“Many people have been wounded as a result of shattered glasses. Can’t explain how big it was. My 7 year old daughter still crying. Just talked to Mr. Yunosi, newly appointed Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan. He has been shifted to a hospital, is okay. The area close to the German consulate in Mazar is cordoned off by the German troops. Helicopters are flying over…. I am told firing from inside the German consulate was done by the German soldiers to stop anyone coming close to the consulate.”
Two of the children hurt in the attack (Images via Tahir Qadry)
The German Foreign Office later reported, “the attack on the GER Consulate General is over. We are grateful to the brave Afghan and Resolute Support forces for their intervention.”
MOD Georgia posted the following on Twitter,
Taliban claim responsibility
Islamic Emirate claimed responsibility for the attack saying they carried it out in response to recent coalition air strikes in Kunduz on November 3rd which led to the deaths of over 30 civilians including women and children, see following link.
“Afghanistan: US/NATO bomb families in Kunduz a year after incinerating hospital patients in their beds”
The Taliban stated, “it is worth mentioning that Germans were part of the perpetrators plotting recent Kunduz bombings that caused casualties, over 50 innocent and defenseless civilians.”
According to Al Jazeera, “Germany has 938 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, most of them in Balkh” and made the decision to extend troops stay in the country last year. Back in 2015, DW media highlighted that Rainer Arnold, a Social Democrat member of the parliamentary defense committee said, “Germany could turn its military base in the northern town of Masar-i-Sharif into an ‘anchor of stability’ for the entire north of the country”. The German government may be forced to reconsider their position today.
“Germany decides to keep troops in Afghanistan until further notice”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.