|US Consulate in Afghanistan Attacked|
|By DANA HUGHES (@dana_hughes)||Sep 12, 2013, 11:59 PM|
The American Consulate in the western Afghanistan city of Herat, came under attack early this morning, the U.S. State Department confirms.
The attack began around 5:30 a.m. local time when militants drove to the front of the consulate's gate. Once they reached the check point, the militants began attacking the consulate's perimeter security officers, possibly firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. Shortly after, the entire 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.
Police said two Afghan security forces were killed, as were five of the attackers, according to The Associated Press.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, telling ABC News in a text message they detonated a truck at the first check point 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.
Today's incident fits a pattern of attacks seen throughout the summer in Afghanistan as U.S. forces plan for next year's withdrawal while handing over virtually all defense duties to Afghans.
The attack comes almost exactly one year after the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked, killing four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
ABC News' Aleem Agha contributed to this report.