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Nine children die in attack near Indian consulate in Afghanistan

From Qadir Sediqi and Masoud Popalzai, CNN
updated 5:15 PM EDT, Sat August 3, 2013
An Afghan policeman looks on as children flee from the site of a suicide attack in front of the Indian consulate in Jalalabad on August 3, 2013.
An Afghan policeman looks on as children flee from the site of a suicide attack in front of the Indian consulate in Jalalabad on August 3, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Attack injures 23, including many children
  • Three attackers die when one detonates a bomb
  • Attack is close to Indian consulate in Jalalabad
  • Indian government condemns the attack

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Nine children died in a suicide bombing Saturday morning near an Indian consulate in Afghanistan, a governor's spokesman said.

The children apparently were students at a mosque near the consulate in Jalalabad.

All three attackers died, said Ahmedzia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province.

He said 23 people, including many children, were injured. On Saturdays, children typically go to the mosque for religious classes.

The spokesman said the three attackers arrived in a Toyota Corolla about 100 meters from the consulate. Two began shooting. As security officials neared, the third detonated a bomb.

Jalalabad is between Kabul, the Afghan capital, and Peshawar in Pakistan. The border region is rife with Islamic extremists.

The consulate general of India condemned the attack in a statement, saying, "This attack has once again highlighted that the main threat to Afghanistan's security and stability stems from terrorism and the terror machine that continues to operate from beyond its borders."

"India will not be deterred from its commitment to assist Afghanistan in its reconstruction and development effort," according to the statement, which was posted on India's Ministry of External Affairs' website. "This was clearly an attack not just against India but an attack against the efforts to help the Afghan people overcome the tragic hardships they have endured due to several decades of war."

CNN's Harmeet Shah Singh in New Delhi, and David Simpson and Khushbu Shah in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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