April 17, 2015 / 4:46 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. confirms vehicle bomb attack on its consulate in Erbil

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday confirmed that a vehicle bomb exploded outside the American consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, but that no U.S. personnel were injured.

Marie Harf, a department spokeswoman, said there has been no claim of responsibility yet for the attack.

Other U.S. officials said they had no immediate information about who might have carried out the bombing.

A second State Department official said the bomb was detonated “directly outside an entry point on the perimeter of the U.S. consulate.” The official said it was not clear what kind of vehicle was involved in the attack.

The official said that at 10:44 a.m. Washington time (1444 GMT), consulate officials initiated emergency response procedures. All U.S. personnel have been accounted for, the official said, and no injuries to either Americans or local guards were reported.

The official said local Kurdish authorities were securing the area. The U.S. official noted that Kurdistan, once regarded as the safest region of Iraq, has recently become more dangerous.

U.S. officials have attributed the deterioration in security in the region largely to the rise of the Islamic State movement.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Will Dunham

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