A huge explosion rocked the area around the U.S. consulate in the Afghan city of Herat early Friday, setting off a heavy gunfight between militants and U.S. security forces, officials said.
The blast occurred around 6 a.m. (9:30 p.m. ET Thursday), according to Fazelullah Wahidi, the governor of Afghanistan’s Western Herat province.
While it was not known if anyone died in that explosion or the exchange of gunfire, nine injured people were brought to Herat Hospital, according hospital official Mohammad Rafiq Sherzad.
Witnesses reported heavy gunfire over an hour later.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail to CNN.