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Friday
Sep132013

US Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, Attacked

Lonely Planet/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Ten people were killed and 20 others were injured in Herat, Afghanistan on Friday when the U.S. consulate there came under attack by militants, the head of Herat's provincial council confirms to ABC News. Among those killed were two interpreters, two Afghan police officers and six consulate guards.

(WASHINGTON) -- The American consulate in the western Afghanistan city of Herat came under attack early Friday morning, the U.S. State Department confirms.

Militants drove to the front of the consulate's gate, and once they reached the checkpoint, they began attacking the consulate's perimeter security officers, possibly firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. Shortly thereafter, the militants' truck exploded, damaging the front gate of the consulate, according to State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Non-security staff at the consulate immediately took shelter while American and contractor security personnel fought with the militants, who had breached the compound, Harf said in a statement. Some of the attackers, according to Harf, appeared to be wearing suicide bombs.

"Full details are not known of the extent of the attack at this point, but the attack is currently over," Harf said.

No Americans were killed in the attack. The State Department says one wounded contract security officer was wounded, and there are likely wounded Afghan police, though the full number of wounded is unknown at this time.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, telling ABC News they detonated a truck at the first checkpoint outside the consulate. Then, the attackers on foot tried to enter the compound armed with rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47 rifles and suicide vests, the Taliban spokesperson said.

The incident comes almost exactly one year after the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked, killing four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio