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. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

  2. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  3. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]