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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid