Indian consulate attack Afghanistan
Members of the Afghan Quick Reaction Force (QRF) during an operation near the Indian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, AfghanistanAnil Usyan/Reuters

The area around the Indian consulate in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan was rocked by a volley of gunfire and explosions on the night of 3 January. The attack started with two loud explosions followed by gunfire from a group of six militants who were holed up inside a building near the consulate.

Police officials told Al Jazeera that the armed men then tried to enter the consulate but were warded off by security personnel. One civilian was hurt during the encounter.

The ambassador of India to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha, tweeted, "heavy fighting going on" and reassured that all those within the consulate were safe.

Reuters reported that another Indian official said it was not confirmed whether the consulate itself was the target. "Details are very sketchy at this point in time," he said.

Following the shooting, the Afghan Quick Reaction Force (QRF) carried out a search in the area and has not ruled out the possibility of more insurgents. No specific militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"The area is completely blocked by our forces," said Shir Jan Durrani, a police spokesperson. "We are cautiously conducting our clearance operation to avoid any civilian casualties."

In 2014, the Indian consulate in Herat, in western Afghanistan, was attacked by Islamist militants prior to the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as prime minister. In 2013, a car bomb near the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad killed nine civilians.

Sunday's attack follows an assault on an air base in Pathankot in the northern Indian state of Punjab, near the Pakistan border, in which at least seven army personnel were killed and more than 20 injured. Five terrorists were also killed in the attack.