News / Asia

Taliban Militants Attack US Consulate in Afghanistan

  • Smoke rises near the U.S. consulate after an attack in Herat, Afghanistan, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • Afghan security personnel assist an injured police after a suicide car bombing and a gunfight near the U.S. consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • Afghan security personnel investigate a suicide car bombing and a gunfight near the U.S. consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • Soldiers walk towards the U.S. Consulate after an attack by insurgents in Herat, Afghanistan, Sept. 13, 2013.

Afghan Militants Attack US Consulate in Herat

Sharon Behn
The U.N. Security Council has condemned the militant attack on the U.S. consulate in the western Afghan town of Herat that killed three Afghan guards and one interpreter. Nearly 20 people were wounded in the assault.  

The Security Council said late Friday in a statement "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable."  

Officials say the Taliban engaged in a gunfight and a suicide bombing just outside the consulate early Friday. International security forces returned fire and authorities say all the militants, some wearing suicide vests, were killed in the exchange.

The Security Council said no terrorist act can reverse "the path towards Afghan-led peace, democracy and stability in Afghanistan."

Eyewitnesses said the explosion rocked the walls in nearby buildings. Security forces returned fire on the attackers in a gunfight that left at least two police and the attackers dead, and more than a dozen wounded. The U.S. State Department said there were no American casualties.

Mohammad Sharif, a security guard for a private Afghan security company, was wounded in the attack. Speaking from the hospital in Herat, he said there were two blasts.

Herat, AfghanistanHerat, Afghanistan
x
Herat, Afghanistan
Herat, Afghanistan
He said, he was fine after the first explosion, and was making a phone call, when there was a second explosion just as he was going out to hand duties to the guard at the front gate. He said there were six to 12 guards there at the time, all colleagues.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at dawn a truck carrying a number of attackers drove to the front gate of the compound while firing on Afghan forces protecting the area. Then, the entire truck exploded, damaging the gate area. 

Harf said those in the consulate took shelter in the building as security forces fought to repel the attack. U.S. security staff, she said, “addressed” attackers who managed to enter the compound. Some attackers appeared to be wearing suicide explosives.

The International Security Assistance Force confirmed via Twitter that “enemy forces” had conducted an unsuccessful attack on the U.S. consulate. It said international and Afghan forces had secured the facility and all the militants had been killed.

Media photographs from the scene showed dead and bloodied bodies on the ground, and security forces carrying their wounded to safety.

In Kabul, embassy spokesman Robert Hilton shared with VOA Ambassador James Cunningham’s reaction to the assault.

“Many Afghans were killed in the attack. We are saddened by the senseless loss of life. The ambassador extended our prayers to the victims and their families and our hoped for their speedy recovery. This attack reminds us of the very human toll exacted by terrorism,” he said.

The Afghan government said it strongly condemned the terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Herat. The government said Friday’s attack showed that the “enemies of Afghanistan” had nothing to offer the country but death and destruction.

Herat, a city in western Afghanistan that lies near Iran, has been relatively quiet in recent years. The complex attack on the consulate shows that after 12 years of fighting, the Taliban still has the ability to strike at targets across the country.

But Friday’s battle also showed the ability of Afghan forces to repel militant assaults. Many in Afghanistan will welcome this as international combat troops wind down their operations and leave the country by the end of 2014.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
September 13, 2013 10:55 AM
The Afghan military is now capable of repelling Taliban attacks. It is unfortunate that innocent lives are lost in several such attacks, but most of the attackers were killed by Afghan military. The next step for the Afghan military is to hunt the terrorists before they launch attacks. The Afghans need more training and resources to accomplish the clean up operation of eliminating the terrorists. A stand by US military presence in Afghanistan is the only alternative for the internal security of Afghanistan after the US military winds down its operations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid