Afghan Taliban Attack US Consulate, Kill 2 Afghans
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Taliban militants set off two suicide car bombs in an attack on the US consulate in western Afghanistan on Friday morning, triggering a gun battle with security forces that left at least two Afghans dead.
The US said all its personnel from the consulate in the city of Herat were safe and American forces later moved into the area to secure the site.
The attack underscored the perilous security situation in Afghanistan, where US-led troops are reducing their presence ahead of a full withdrawal next year.
According to Afghan officials, the attack in Herat started with the Taliban setting off two bombs — one in an SUV and the other in an explosives-laden small van — while militants on foot opened a firefight with Afghan security forces around the compound in the city, 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) from Kabul.
It was not entirely clear whether any attackers managed to breach the facility, but at least two Afghans were killed and several were wounded, said an Afghan official. At least seven attackers were killed, including the two drivers of the car bombs.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi took responsibility for the attack in a phone call with AP.
Around the same time, a suicide bomber detonated his truck full of explosives near government offices in eastern Paktika province after security personnel opened fire at him. At least seven Afghan forces were wounded in the explosion, another Afghan official said.
Footage broadcast on Afghanistan's Tolo television network showed Afghan police dragging away a badly bloodied man from the scene, but it was unclear if he was dead or who he was. Rubble and twisted pieces of metal lay strewn in a seemingly wide area near the consulate, the footage showed.