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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid