Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Afghanistan suicide blast hits near U.S. consulate 09/12/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 13, 2013 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Achievement gap, testing, bilingual teachers and more

    Blogs

    ACHIEVEMENT GAP: The Pinellas County School Board approves a plan to improve the education of black students in the district.

  2. Shelby, the missing Boxer with cancer in Tampa, found safe under a car

    Pets

    Shelby has been found.

    The 4-year-old Boxer mix was undergoing cancer treatments when she slipped away from BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Tampa on May 17, sparking a nearly weeklong search.

    Shelby, a 4-year-old Boxer mix who escaped from BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Tampa while being treated for cancer, was reunited with her family on May 23, 2017, after being missing for almost a week. [BluePearl Veterinary Partners]
  3. Duterte declares martial rule in besieged south Philippines

    World

    MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday that he'll be harsh in enforcing martial law in his country's south as he abruptly left Moscow to deal with a crisis at home sparked by a Muslim extremist siege on a city, where militants burned buildings overnight and are feared to have …

    Policemen watches vehicles at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, May 24, 2017 as the Philippine National Police is placed under full alert status following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao southern Philippines. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday that he'll be harsh in enforcing martial law in his country's south as he abruptly left Moscow to deal with a crisis at home sparked by a Muslim extremist siege on a city, where militants burned buildings overnight and are feared to have taken hostages. [Associated Press]
  4. Manchester police say they have made three more arrests in concert bombing

    World

    BREAKING: Manchester police say they have made three more arrests over pop concert bombing. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

    PREVIOUS STORY:

    People light candles after a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. [Associated Press]
  5. Who will headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa?

    Blogs

    The NFL announced Tuesday that Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, a result of stadium construction delays in Los Angeles.

    Taylor Swift performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. Could she return for Super Bowl LV in 2021?