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Attack on German consulate in Afghanistan planned for months: report

A bomb attack on the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif had been planned six months in advance in Pakistan, according to a media report. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast which killed six and wounded 128.

The deadly attack on the German consulate in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif earlier this month was planned further in advance than previously believed, according to a German newspaper report on Sunday.

At least six people died and another 128 people were wounded when attackers drove an explosives-laden truck into the German consulate compound on November 10. One attacker died while another was taken into police custody.

The blast was claimed by the Taliban who said they carried out the attack as retaliation for Germany's support of a US airstrike in Kunduz in early November that killed 30 Afghan civilians.

However, a report from the German "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper provides a different timeline than the one suggested by the Taliban.

The sole surviving attacker admitted in police questioning that the Taliban recruited him along with a group of other men in Pakistan around six months prior to the bomb attack, "Bild am Sonntag" reported, citing diplomatic sources.

The Taliban gave the group firearms and bomb-making training in preparation for the consulate attack, the man said as cited by the paper.

"Bild am Sonntag" also said that more German soldiers took part in the rescue operation than had previously been reported. Shortly after the truck blast, German air force and members of the German army's Special Forces Command (KSK) rushed to the consulate.

The KSK troops "cleared" the building while others secured the diplomats, the newspaper reported. Later, the whole group moved outside, supported by US combat helicopters and Bundeswehr surveillance drones.

According to eye witnesses, the consulate was later searched by German specialists who destroyed sensitive documents, the newspaper reported, adding that such a practice is usual in such cases.

rs/jlw (AFP, dpa)

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