Image by zerega via FlickrFrom the NYT: In the most direct attack on an American facility in Pakistan in years, militants mounted a multipronged assault against the United States Consulate in this northern city on Monday, using a truck bomb, machine guns and rocket launchers, Pakistani and American officials said.
At least five attackers, all suicide bombers, failed to breach the outer perimeter of the compound, according to a Pakistani intelligence official, but demolished part of an exterior wall with a large truck bomb that shook the city and sent huge plumes of brown dust and smoke into the sky. At least six Pakistanis were killed and 20 wounded. None of those killed or hurt were Americans.
The United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, confirmed the attack, and said it was coordinated, involving “a vehicle suicide bomb and terrorists who were attempting to enter building using grenades and weapons fire.”
Employees of the consulate were evacuated after the attack, according to a Pakistani official. Pakistani television reported that the consulate would be closed on Tuesday, but an embassy spokeswoman could not immediately confirm that.
Read the whole thing here.
Meanwhile the US Embassy in Islamabad has released a statement on the attack, reprinted in full below:
Statement: Terrorist Attack On U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar | April 05, 2010
Islamabad - The United States condemns the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar today. At least two Pakistani security guards employed by the Consulate General were killed in the attack and a number of others were seriously wounded. The coordinated attack involved a vehicle suicide bomb and terrorists attempting to enter the building using grenades and weapons fire. This attack, and the one earlier today in Lower Dir which killed and wounded many others, reflects the terrorists' desperation as they are rejected by people throughout Pakistan.
Personnel at the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar are at the forefront of U.S. support for the Government of Pakistan's security and development agenda in the FATA and NWFP. The U.S. is grateful for the support of Pakistan's security forces in Peshawar, who responded quickly to this attack in support of the U.S. Consulate.
Secretary's Remarks: Attack on U.S. Consulate in Peshawar
Mon, 05 Apr 2010 14:20:12 -0500