Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Afghanistan suicide blast hits near U.S. consulate

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban militants staged a suicide car bombing and then engaged in a gunfight with security forces near the American consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat early today.

Police said two Afghan security forces were killed, as were five of the attackers, while the U.S. said all of its consulate personnel were safe.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility on behalf of the militant group, which has often staged combined car bomb and gun attacks in the past.

The attack, which also injured several people, including police, underscored the perilous security situation in Afghanistan, where U.S.-led troops are reducing their presence ahead of a full withdrawal planned for next year. The insurgent strikes are no longer concentrated in the country's south and east, but occur with troubling frequency in the north and west, which have been the more peaceful areas in years past.

Today's attack began about 6 a.m. with the powerful blast. The car bomber detonated his explosives about 65 yards away from the consulate compound, said Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi, the governor of Herat province. Other militants then began firing on security forces in the area.

Footage broadcast on Afghanistan's Tolo television network showed Afghan police dragging away a badly bloodied person from the scene. Rubble and twisted pieces of metal lay strewn in a seemingly wide area near the consulate, the footage showed.

Gen. Rahmatullah Safi, chief of police in Herat province, initially said an Afghan translator who apparently worked for the consulate died in the attack, but later said that victim was more likely a private security guard working at the compound. An Afghan police officer also was killed, while an unclear number of police, guards and civilians were wounded.

Safi said four militants were killed during the assault, as was the suicide car bomber, but the situation was under control about an hour after the start of the attack.

Robert Hilton, a U.S. Embassy spokesman, said he had no information about a translator among the victims and that "all consulate personnel are safe and accounted for."

Herat lies near Afghanistan's border with Iran.

Comments
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Updated: 6 minutes ago

Region baseball: Leto ends state final four drought

TAMPA — It was the biggest game of Jakob Ryley's baseball career, and in the first inning of Wednesday's Class 7A region final against Melbourne, the senior right-hander was a little shaky.With two outs, Ryley walked two Bulldogs before a fly o...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Coast Guard suspends search for man missing from Tampa cruise

Coast Guard suspends search for man missing from Tampa cruise

The Coast Guard announced Wednesday night that it has suspended the search for a man who was reported to have gone overboard from a cruise ship that left Tampa.Officials aboard the Carnival Paradise told the Coast Guard on Tuesday morning that Brian ...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA – The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday night with the final horn or, if you prefer, much earlier when Alex Ovechkin blasted the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy just 62 seconds into the game.It ended one win shy of a trip to the ...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Live blog: Lightning's season ends with 4-0 loss in Game 7

Live blog: Lightning's season ends with 4-0 loss in Game 7

  Follow our live coverage of the Eastern Conference final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. We'll have updates, analysis, photos, video and more on and off the ice from Times reporters, editors, sports columnists and photo j...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

* The Lightning picked the worst time to stop scoring goals. It's tough to win when you go more than six periods without getting at least one past the goalie, but that is what happened to the NHL's top-scoring team during the regular season.* Certain...
Updated: 1 hour ago
State baseball: 60 wins and counting for Calvary Christian

State baseball: 60 wins and counting for Calvary Christian

FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian will play for its second straight Class 4A state championship Thursday. The Warriors defeated Jacksonville Trinity Christian 2-1 on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium in a game delayed three hours due to weather. It is ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — The two cars raced each other along Bayshore Boulevard just before noon, witnesses told police. One was a black 2018 Mustang. The other a gold Nissan. They sped side-by-side, trading the lead, police said, despite the traffic and pedestrians ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region baseball: Venice dispatches Mitchell

NEW PORT RICHEY — Walking by the football field and toward the parking lot after Wednesday's Class 7A region final at Ridgewood High, several Venice High players were caught by surprise as the irrigation system turned on.But while shaking off t...
Updated: 2 hours ago