"The well-trained suicide bombers, armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, were killed in a joint operation by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Afghanistan forces," said an official press statement issued by the Gujarat government."Modi thanked Karzai for the efforts of Afghanistan forces in thwarting the attack on the Indian mission."
Modi also tweeted: "I condemn the attack on our consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. Closely monitoring the situation. I have spoken to the Ambassador as well." Syed Akbaruddin, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson, said that all the staff of the consulate were safe. "Our premises have been repeatedly attacked by those who do not support India's development work in Afghanistan. The attack will not dilute India's development assistance and its contribution to rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan," he said. The spokesman added that the attack "stems from beyond" the Afghan borders -- in a pointer to possible elements in Pakistan who previously too have been behind the attacks on Indian missions in Afghanistan.
"All of us strongly condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms. The government was examining the reason and timing behind the attack," Akbaruddin added. "We are assessing these events carefully and evaluating them, I won't jump to conclusions."
In the morning, Modi spoke with Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha, which "bolstered the morale of the Indian staff there".
Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh is monitoring the situation and is in touch with her counterpart in Afghanistan, Akbaruddin said May 23. Shaida M. Abdali, the Afghan ambassador to India, speaking to Times Now TV channel described it as a terror attack, though he did not refer to the Taliban. Asked if the Taliban were behind the attack, Abdali said: "There is no doubt that it is a terror attack, an attack on the friendship of India and Afghanistan... This attack can only embolden our determination that we will keep this friendship at all costs." (IANS)