| Updated at: 1342 PST, Saturday, October 23, 2010|
HEART: The United Nations office in the western Afghan city of Herat came under armed attack on Saturday, officials said.
"The incident is ongoing. We are working closely with local authorities," Dan McNorton, media officer for the UN in Kabul, said.
Another UN official, who asked not to be named, said: "There appears to have been an attack of some kind."
A reporter of a French news agency on the scene said small arms fire and explosions could be heard from inside the UN compound, just outside the city centre.
The attack began at 12.30 pm (0800) GMT, he said.
Interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary confirmed that an attack on the compound was underway. "Yes, there has been an attack against the UN office in Herat," he said, adding: "Police have cordoned off the area."
The UN official who asked not to be named said there were no casualties.
"We're working closely with local police and security, and at this stage there are no casualties," he said.
Herat, Afghanistan's second biggest city, is near the border with Iran. It has until recently been relatively peaceful though the security situation has been deteriorating.
Residents say that the road to the airport is controlled after dark by criminal gangs. Some districts of the city, notably those dominated by ethnic Pashtuns, are controlled by Taliban insurgents, they say.