Afghanistan: US Consulate in Herat Attacked Via Car Bomb, Gunfire Reported
The American consulate in the Afghan province of Herat was under attack on Thursday night. The Taliban claimed responsibility and no Americans were killed.
The Associated Press reported that the car bomb went off outside the US consulate in western Afghanistan, wounding seven civilians. An Afghan translator was killed and police were injured.
The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force released a statement hours after the initial reports.
On Twitter, reports said there were fires and explosions outside of the building. Some reports said another car bomb was detonated.
Insurgents with the Taliban told the BBC that a suicide bomber detonated explosives before other fighters came in and attacked.
The bomber detonated the bomb around 66 yards from the consulate building, according to AP, citing Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi, the governor of Herat Province.
Militants started firing at security forces nearby, he said.
Gen. Rahmatullah Safi, a police chief, said the situation was brought under control and security forces are searching for militants who may have escaped, AP reported.
Facebook user Ekramuddin Malikzada, who claims to work in Herat, uploaded a video that purportedly shows the aftermath of the attack.
Voice of America’s Ashna Radio Dari reported that the consulate was attacked via a “vehicle-bourne suicide” bomber.
Barry J Reed, a Twitter user who lives in Herat, wrote that it “lasted about 30-35 minutes. Black smoke obscured my view. Don’t think they made it far inside compound.”
“Large explosion (assume vehicle) fire at first gate. Then series of smaller explosions (assume suicide vests). Maybe 5-7. Then gunfire,” he wrote, adding that he hears “no gunfire now.”
Last week, the Iranian consulate in Herat was the site of violent protests that killed at least one person, reported RFERL.
In recent years, attacks in Afghanistan have moved toward the north and west parts of the country, instead of in the south and east.