Explosion reported near Kabul airport: police official

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An explosion was heard near the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, a police department spokesperson said.

There were no immediate details on casualties or damage from the blast, which occurred in an area close to where a suicide bomber killed one person and wounded 33 last week.

Earlier today, Afghan special forces prepared to clear insurgents barricaded in a house near the Indian consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif after an overnight attack that coincided with an assault on an Indian air base near the border with Pakistan.

A small group of gunmen tried unsuccessfully to break into the consulate late on Sunday and shut themselves into the house but security forces halted operations overnight and were proceeding cautiously to minimise civilian casualties.

Gunfire could be heard around the area and helicopters were circling overhead as army and police commandos surrounded the area in a residential district of the city, in Balkh province, which borders Uzbekistan.

At least one civilian was wounded but the Indian ambassador said all the consulate staff were safe.

There was no indication of who may have been behind the attack, which came amid renewed efforts to lower tension between Pakistan and India and restart peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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