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Suicide bomber strikes near Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan's Jalalabad

A gunfight followed a suicide bombing in Jalalabad outside the Pakistani consulate in the eastern Afghan city. At least six people have been killed.

Following a suicide bombing near the consulate on Wednesday, Afghan security forces exchanged fire with gunmen holed up in a house. The bombing and gunfight killed at least six, including the two gunmen, and wounded 11.

An interior ministry spokesperson said two policemen were killed in the initial suicide blast. Two other victims were civilians.

A nearby school was evacuated after the bombing, which occurred as many people lined up outside the consulate seeking visas for Pakistan. The bomber reportedly joined the line before blowing himself up.

After the two remaining assailants barricaded them inside a nearby house, security forces surrounded them and exchanged fire. The two gunmen have since been killed, and the standoff is over, it was reported.

The behavior of the two gunmen was move similar to an attack last week on India's consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif. There, attackers holed up in a house resisted security forces for over 24 hours.

Wednesday's attack comes just a few days after Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and representatives from China and the United States met in the Pakistani capital on Monday to discuss strategies to revive the peace process between the Taliban and Afghanistan's government.

mz/ (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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