Breaking – Car Bomb Explodes Close to US Consulate in Irbil
Irbil, Iraq – A car bomb exploded Friday on the perimeter of the U.S. Consulate in Irbil, Kurdistan, leaving possibly 3 dead and at least five wounded. There is conflicting information on the casualty count and wounded, but the US government says that all US personnel are accounted for at this time.
Rudaw (Independent Kurdish news agency in Irbil) reported,
The large explosion occurred at 5:40 pm, a busy time in the Christian neighborhood of Ainkawa popular with Westerners. The explosive-laden car detonated outside the heavily gaurded gates of the US Consulate and compound that houses diplomats and staff.
Gunfire erupted for several minutes after the after the blast but has since stopped, witnesses told Rudaw.
According to initial reports, security guards tried to stop an attacker, possibly in a vehicle, when the explosive detonated.
A source at a nearby Rojhalat Hospital confirmed the three deaths and the injury to a US citizen.
A US official has been quoted saying US Consulate personnel are unharmed and accounted for.
There has been no claim of responsibility as of this writing.
Irbil is the capital of the Kurdish autonomy zone in Iraq. ISIS came within a few miles of the city in the summer of 2014, but were repelled by Kurdish fighters.
Irbil Attack: Suicide Bombing Near US Consulate In Iraq Kills At Least 3 In Kurdish Capital (ibtimes) http://t.co/KwzrVRRuLL
— Rojname Kurdish News (@Rojname_com) April 17, 2015
Hyundai Sonata detonated once the guards fired at them. They terrorists failed again — Hiwa Afandi (@HiwaAfandi) April 17, 2015
The Turkish Flavored, Nelly Caffe, is reported to be the location of attack. — Hiwa Afandi (@HiwaAfandi) April 17, 2015
— Hersh Namiq (@hershnamiq) April 17, 2015