The Taliban has resulted to suicide attacks on government consulates after failed peace talks with U.S. officials. The U.S. consulate in Herat, an Afghan western city, was assaulted by seven perpetrators who exchanged gun fire with Afghan police units. Bombs were heard by nearby residents as gun battles raged around the grounds of the American compound.
A previous attack was conducted by the Taliban on a CIA station near Kabul, the compound was close to the presidential palace. The attack resulted in the death of guards and heavy damage to buildings and surrounding compound structures. The Taliban attacks seem to originate after insurgent officials failed to establish a rapport with U.S. diplomats.
It was reported that the Taliban attacked a government installation in Paktika province which is on the border of Pakistan. Many individuals were hurt but no deaths were reported as a result of the assault on the compound. Officials noted that it was a suicide attack but no immediate details were known by the local media in the area.
The U.S. State Department acknowledged the attack saying no Americans lost their lives in the bombing on Friday. The compound was heavily fortified and guarded by Afghan police who made it difficult for the invading assailants. The main entrance of the compound was heavily damaged by a car bomb and many of the police unit members were killed as a result.
Failed Taliban peace talks can be traced to the cause of the attack on the U.S. consulate and more can be expected in the region. Afghan deputy interior minister Ayoub Salangi addressed the media saying all the attackers died in the assault. Marie Harf, State Department spokeswoman, said, “It appears American and contract security personnel addressed any attackers who managed to enter the compound.” She believed many of them wore suicide explosive vests.
Residents in the area reported follow-up explosions after the main blast that hurt more than 20 people in the compound. Military jets were scrambled and policed the zone while helicopter gunships were seen in the air after the shootings subsided. Staff was evacuated from the zone while the assessment of the damage was completed by authorities.
The multi storied building was said to have been in a safe area of Herat. Located near the Afghan border close to Turkmenistan and Iran it was known as a secure location. The U.S. has trained Afghan military forces for more than ten years in the area. Battles have raged with the Taliban for years, U.S. officials expect to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.
The Taliban failed in peace talks with the U.S. and have resulted to attacking U.S. consulates in retaliation. Their guerilla style suicide tactics will lead to regionally condemnation which could accelerate their demise among their neighbors. The Taliban will soon find it hard to seek refuge in nations for continuation of their cause.
By Thomas Barr