Terrorists who attacked the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan allegedly left a graffiti on the wall written in their own blood stating that they’ve avenged the death of Afzal Guru, who was hanged in 2013 for planning the 13 December, 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.
An intense 25-hour siege that saw provincial governor Ata Mohammad Noor, a former Mujahideen soldier, take up arms to defend the consulate, came to end with the death of all the terrorists.
The group of four had attacked the Consulate at 9:15 pm on Sunday with an aim of storming the building but their plan was thwarted by the security forces. More terrorists were holed up in a five-storey building about 100 metres across the road from the Indian Consulate and security forces had launched a daunting onslaught to neutralise them, reported PTI.
Writing for the The Indian Express, Praveen Swami reported that photographs taken after police special forces stormed the building where the terrorists were holed up, showed Urdu slogans scrawled on the walls, suspected to have been written in their own blood.
“Afzal Guru ka inteqam (Afzal Guru is avenged)”, read one. “Ek shaheed, hazaar fidayeen (one martyr, 1000 ),” stated the other.
Indian intelligence sources told the Express that there “no hard information on the identities of the attackers, or the organisation to which they were affiliated”.
The image of the sinister red scrawl was being shared on Twitter.
Afzal Guru ka inteqam.
Those who attacked the Indian consulate in Mazar wrote with blood on the walls 'attack was revenge of Afzal Guru' pic.twitter.com/ucZadpfhkN
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) January 5, 2016
The Express report said Guru was possibly linked to the organisation -- Jaish-e-Mohammed -- Indian intelligence services believed was responsible for the deadly attack on the Pathankot air force base.
In 2001, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists launched a daring attack on the Indian Parliament leading to the deaths of five gunmen, six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a gardener. It led to a flare-up in ties between India and Pakistan.
The jeweller taken hostage by the Pathankot attackers before launching the 36-hour siege allegedly told the police that his captors said the attack was in retaliation to Guru’s hanging.
Terrorists wrote 'revenge for Afzal Guru' in blood on walls of Indian Consulate in Afghanistan
— CNN-IBN News (@ibnlive) January 6, 2016
An investigation was underway to try to identify the men and those behind the Consulate attack, which occurred on the same day gunmen attacked the air base in Pathankot to see if both are related.
Eight members of the security forces were wounded in the Afghan gun battle.
Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kabul and Islamabad on the same day, underlining the drive to improve stability and overcome the longstanding hostility in the region. However, Sunday's attack and the assault in Pathankot underlined how difficult that process is likely to be.
In 2014, India's consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat was hit by heavily armed insurgents including suicide bombers, one of a series of attacks on Indian diplomatic stations in Afghanistan over previous years. Pakistan has long been suspicious of India's engagement with Afghanistan and its diplomatic presence there.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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