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US consulate attack shocks Kabul, Washington

US consulate attack shocks Kabul, Washington

Sep 13, 2013 - 18:36

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Embassy in Kabul on Friday strongly condemned a coordinated Talibaninfo-icon attack on a US consulate in western Herat province, in which nine people, including seven attackers, were killed and 19 others wounded.

The Taliban militants unleashed car bombs at the US Consulate in Herat City, the provincial capital, in the morning, triggering a firefight with security forces in an attack that killed one consulate guard and one Afghan policeman.

The US said all its personnel from the mission were safe and that American forces later secured the site.

Herat police Gen. Rahmatullah Safi said the attack began around 6 am when militants in an SUV and a van set off their explosives-laden vehicles while others on foot fired on Afghan security forces guarding the compound.

An Afghan police officer and an Afghan security guard were killed, though it was not clear whether they died in the explosions or in the gunfire, Safi said. At least seven attackers were killed, including the two drivers of the explosives-laden vehicles.

But sources in the Herat hospital said at least 19 injured and two dead bodies had been brought to the hospital.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said it “illustrates both the desperation of the enemies of Afghanistaninfo-icon and their heinous, wanton disregard for the lives of Afghanistan’s peace-loving citizens.”

The ministry added the Afghan security forces were able to bring under control the situation in a short span of time, preventing further casualties. “We have been assured by our American colleagues that the consulate officials are safe,” the ministry said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the ministry said Afghan forces were able to kill all the attackers and insisted such attacks would not demoralise Afghan security forces.

Robert Hilton, a spokesman for the US Embassy in Kabul, said that “all consulate personnel are safe and accounted for.”

US Ambassador to Kabul James Cunningham said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by this senseless loss of life, and our prayers go out to the victims and their families. We hope for the speedy recovery of those injured.”


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