JNN 14 Sept 2013 Kabul : car bomb explosion in front of the US consulate in the western Afghan province of Herat has left at least six dead and a second blast happened in the parking lot of the consulate a short time after the original explosion.
An Afghan army spokesman said that the initial blast had damaged the consulate’s outer defenses and allowed the attackers to breach the perimeter and begin shooting at the compound’s buildings before dawn on Friday.
Taliban militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
NATO and ISAF helicopters were reported to be flying overhead and shops throughout the region abruptly closed down.
Early reports indicated all the attackers were killed by Afghan security forces and seven civilians were wounded, although some media outlets speculated the number hurt could be closer to 15. The entire episode reportedly lasted between 30 and 35 minutes.
The incident, on the heels of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, is the most recent violence aimed at US troops as they prepare to make a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.
General Rahmatullah Safi, the chief of police in Herat, told the AP that an afghan translator had been killed. Two police officers and two Afghan security guards at the US consulate were hurt, with at least one of the men trapped under the rubble.
The ISAF confirmed that the consulate is secured and consulate security forces “defeated” the attackers.
Five Taliban suicide bombers reportedly entered the consulate building, according to New York Times. Four were able to explode themselves before the fifth was apprehended.
The Taliban recently attacked a US military base in the town of Torkham, Nangarhar Province, sparking a lengthy gun battle between American forces and gunmen.
According to icasualties.org website, over 3,370 US-led soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since the invasion of the country in 2001, which was conducted as part of the so-called war on terror.
The increasing number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the United States and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.