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Meanwhile, In America's Longest Running War, Consulate Attacked in Afghanistan

With many efforts set on preventing deeper war in Syria, latest Afghan violence a reminder of other bloody conflict at heart of US foreign policy

- Common Dreams staff

Afghanistan security forces take up a position after an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Herat early Friday. (Photo: Aref Karimi / AFP-Getty Images)Though a steady focus on Syria may have left some forgetting that the U.S. remains involved in another civil war on the Asian continent, a Taliban attack on a U.S. consulate in the west of Afghanistan on Friday may send a bloody reminder.

According to reports, an armed group of Taliban-supported fighters—in what was described as a "brazen commando-style attack"—attempted to storm the U.S. consulate in Herat early Friday morning, detonating a car bomb and firing on security personnel as they tried to storm the building.

As Al-Jazeera America reports:

At least seven people -- three security force members and four attackers -- were reportedly killed.

A Twitter posting from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said that the consulate was secure after the gun battle, and that consulate security had defeated the attackers.

The assailants appeared to be "wearing suicide explosive devices," according to a State Department release. No U.S. nationals have been reported killed.

McClatchy adds:

The attack came as the Taliban steps up attacks before foreign combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014. It follows an assault on the U.S. military's Torkham base in eastern Afghanistan this month, which sparked a lengthy gun battle that saw three insurgents killed.

The consular attack took part in an area that has been relatively peaceful, underscoring the challenge for Afghan security forces as they take over responsibility from foreign troops.

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