Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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A car bomb exploded today at the gates of a U.S. military base, just outside the Afghan capital of Kabul. According to officials, at least twelve people received injuries. The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident occurred just outside an US installation dubbed “Camp Phoenix”. This is mainly used by American troops which train Afghan security forces.

Camp Phoenix is often attacked by insurgents, particularly suicide bombers. In mid-November, an attack in Camp Phoenix, injured 25 people, half of them American soldiers.

The Taliban was the group that claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesperson for the bombers, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed in a telephone interview that the bomber had allegedly “killed and wounded” ten American soldiers and demolished three military vehicles.

Asked about that claim, an American military spokeswoman, Air Force Master Sgt. Sabrina D. Foster, said that a statement would be issued soon but that in the meantime she could confirm only eight United States personnel with minor wounds. According to Kabul police chief, Abdul Rahman, three of those injured were American interpreters.

Sayed Abdul Ghafar, head of the criminal investigation, Kabul police, said the explosion demolished at least eleven civilian vehicles in the adjoining area. Eight were wounded, most of whom were day laborers who generally would be leaving the base after a day’s work. All were reported to be stable by Interior Ministry spokesman, Zemary Bashary.

“The target of the suicide attacker seemed to be foreign forces, but we couldn’t see any American vehicle damaged there because the road was blocked by American forces. We don’t know exactly the casualties among the foreign forces,” said Ghafar.

The American troops soon blocked the area, and barred access to the highway. “They won’t even let the Afghan National Police near it,” said an Afghan policeman near the place where the attack occurred.

It was the first suicide bombing in Kabul since January 18. In the previous attack, several bombs had been detonated by the attackers, who also fought with Afghan commandos. The situation was brought under control soon; however five people were killed. Earlier today, Afghan intelligence officials provided another statement about this attack; this statement is probably the one with most details.

During a news conference, they showed a video which was about an Afghan man arrested for allegedly assisting in the attack. In the video, the man, named Kamaluddin, claimed that he received his orders from the Haqqani network. The latter is a militant organization based in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area. He calmly clarified that he had housed the seven attackers before the attack and had provided them with several weapons.



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