A car bomb was detonated at the entrance to the U.S. consular building in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, killing at least three people and injuring eight others, although another report said 14 were wounded.
Nihad Qoja, the mayor of Erbil, said: "A car bomb exploded outside the entrance to the US consulate, It seems the consulate was the target." The State Department said no US personnel were killed in the blast that it said was caused by a "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device" that went off right outside the entrance to the heavily guarded compound:A Reuters witness who heard the blast said that it was followed by gunfire and black smoke rising above the district where the consulate is located. It is a predominantly Christian neighbourhood containing many restaurants frequented by foreigners. Attacks in Erbil have been relatively rare. Erbil is an important base for US operatives in Iraq who have been supporting Kurdish operations against IS in the area.The city is considered so safe that the US has moved some of its diplomats there from Baghdad where there are many bombings. On Friday there were at least 479 killed and 72 injured in attacks in Baghdad and across Iraq with at least 31 dead in Baghdad.
Brett McGurk, the deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, said in a post on Twitter that all consulate personnel had been accounted for and that there were no reports of injuries among them. He included the hashtag #VBIED, short for vehicle-born improvised explosive device.A tweet from an IS account claimed that fighters "were able to detonate a car bomb on the building of the American which led to killing and wounding many of them." US officials said that they had no reason to doubt the IS claim of responsibility for the attack.