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Two foreigners injured in attack on US consulate vehicle in Afghanistan

At least two foreign security personnel were wounded in an attack on a US consulate vehicle in the western Afghan city of Herat on Wednesday, officials said.

HERAT, Afghanistan: At least two foreign security personnel were wounded in an attack on a US consulate vehicle in the western Afghan city of Herat on Wednesday, officials said.

The vehicle was on its way to the airport when an unidentified gunman on a motorbike shot at it with a rocket-propelled grenade in the Enjeel district of the city, district chief Basher Ahmad said.

The incident came five days after insurgents attacked an Indian mission in the same city, and a day after US president Barack Obama announced the complete withdrawal of American forces by the end of 2016.

An official at the US consulate in Herat, who refused to be named, said two of the consulate's foreign security personnel were wounded in the attack, without identifying their nationalities.

"The vehicle was partially damaged," said Ahmad.

On Friday, four insurgents launched a pre-dawn attack on India's consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat before being repelled by security forces, in an assault highlighting instability as NATO troops withdraw.

There were no casualties among Indian staff but at least two policemen were wounded when the heavily-armed attackers stormed a house close to the consulate and opened fire on the building.

Afghanistan is in the middle of elections to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since the fall of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime.

Providing security for the election is a key test for Afghan police and soldiers, with all NATO combat troops due to pull out of the country by December after more than a decade fighting the Taliban, though non-combat troops are expected to remain until 2016.

On Tuesday, President Obama confirmed that the 32,000-strong US deployment in Afghanistan would be scaled back to a normal embassy presence with a security assistance component by the end of 2016, if the two countries sign a long-delayed Bilateral Security Agreement.

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