As many as four people were killed and at least 115 others were wounded in a Taliban attack on German Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif city in Balkh province on Thursday night, local officials said.
The attack took place in front of the consulate at 11pm local time on Thursday, Balkh Police Chief Gen. Sayed Kamal Sadat said.
He said an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated near the entrance door to the consulate office.
Meanwhile, head of Abu Ali Sina Hospital in Balkh, Noor Mohammad Faiz, said they had received 31 wounded following the attack.
He said all the victims were civilians and some of them are in a critical condition.
Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
The group claimed the attack was carried out in response to Afghan forces’ military operation in Kunduz.
RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan reported that a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Friday that all of its two dozen staff escaped the attack “safe and uninjured” and were evacuated, while Afghan security forces and NATO special forces had “repulsed the heavily armed attackers.”
Officials said the consulate had sustained considerable damage in the attack, which began late Thursday.
A spokesman for the governor of Balkh Province told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that the suicide bomb blast made a large hole in the compound wall, and other Taliban fighters tried to enter the compound through the gap.
But he said security forces at the consulate prevented insurgents from storming the compound.
Witnesses said many of the injured were Afghans who were sleeping in their homes nearby and were struck by flying glass when their windows were shattered by the massive explosion.
In Berlin, officials said a crisis task force meeting had been called at Germany’s Foreign Ministry late on Friday night to review events surrounding the attack.