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Four Afghans Killed, 100 Injured After Taliban Attack On German Consulate

Four Afghans were killed and more than 100 injured when a Taliban suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into the German Consulate in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif, officials said.

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on November 11 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 was heavily damaged in the attack, which began late on November 10 and which the Taliban said they had launched in revenge for more than 30 civilians killed by "invading infidels" in recent air strikes on northern Kunduz.

A spokesman for the governor of Balkh Province told RFE/RL’s Afghan Service 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 militants from storming inside 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 November 10 to review events surrounding the attack.

With additional reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, and AFP
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