A large explosion has occurred outside the German consulate in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, killing at least two person and injuring nearly 100 others, officials and witnesses say. The blast was followed by gunfire.
The attack began just before 11:30 p.m. local time on Thursday when the blast occurred near the German consulate, which is also close to a hotel and several guesthouses. Heavy bursts of gunfire followed the explosion.
The provincial government said an explosives-laden vehicle had been detonated outside the consulate, causing damage and casualties. Initial reports indicate that at least two people have been killed and a doctor told journalist Bilal Sarwary that at least 87 people had been injured, some of them critically so.
Residents throughout the city reported hearing the blast, which also blew out windows in numerous buildings. A fire was burning at the scene and sporadic gunfire continued at 12:45 a.m., more than an hour after the attack began.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the late-night attack, saying its fighters had entered the consulate. He said the attack was in revenge for last week's airstrike in Kunduz that killed at least 30 civilians.
Other details were not immediately available.
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