RAW: Taliban Attacks US Consulate
US and Afghan forces have fought off an attack by Taliban insurgents on the US consulate in the western city of Herat. Two Afghan police and one security guard were killed in the dawn assault, along with four attackers. The US consulate said its staff were safe. The Taliban said they carried out the attack, which began with a huge blast at the compound gates, sparking a gun battle near consulate buildings. Attacks continue despite the planned withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014. Seventeen civilians, including women and children, were injured in the Herat attack. Herat sits close to the Iranian border on a vital trade route across southern Afghanistan and it has been relatively peaceful in recent years. The US consulate in Herat was opened just four years ago in a former five-star hotel. The BBC's David Loyn in Kabul says this attack - carried out in the shadow of the anniversary of 9/11 - is a demonstration of the ability of insurgents still to disrupt Afghanistan 12 years after the US toppled the Taliban.