The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the car bomb explosion outside the US Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, the SITE service, which monitors the online activity of extremist groups, said Friday.
“It wouldn’t be surprising [the Islamic State did it], but I can’t confirm that,” US State Department acting spokesperson Harf said.
State Dept. confirms a vehicle-born improvised explosive device detonated directly outside US Consulate in Erbil, local security responding.— Justin Fishel (@JustinFishelABC) April 17, 2015
A car bomb exploded on a road outside the consulate. Gunfire was heard immediately after blast, according to eyewitnesses.
The consulate houses US diplomats. There are no reports of casualties among the staff.
The blast was the result of a “failed” assault due to the fact that the car detonated before reaching the US consulate, Kurdish government official Hiwa Afandi wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.
“Hyundai Sonata detonated once the guards fired at them. They terrorists failed again,” Afandi said.
US Consulate personnel is accounted for and was not injured in the car bomb explosion that took place on Friday, US State Department acting spokesperson Marie Harf said in a press briefing.
Harf explained that the car bomb detonated outside an entrance on the perimeter of the US Consulate in Erbil. She also noted that US officials are cooperating with local authorities in the investigation into the bombing.