Car packed with explosives was detonated by militants near a German consulate in Afghanistan

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Sporadic gunfire from around the consulate were reported. According to a NATO spokesman, the explosion had caused “massive damage” to the building.”All German employees of the Consulate General are safe and uninjured,” a spokesman from the German foreign ministry said. The area would be locked down until morning. Afghan special forces were still conducting search operations but were not encountering any more resistance, the local police chief Sadat said. Authorities were investigating if a second car had been involved. The consulate is located in a large building close to the Blue Mosque in the center of Mazar-i-Sharif, where earlier this year, the Indian consulate was also attacked by militant gunmen. In Berlin, a crisis task force had been set up, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was receiving continual updates. Germany has about 850 soldiers at the NATO base in the city.

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