Taliban attack U.S. base on Afghan supply route
By The Washington Post
Published: Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
MOHMANDARA DISTRICT, Afghanistan — Militants attacked a U.S. base in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on Monday, setting off bombs, torching vehicles and shutting down a key road used by NATO supply trucks, officials said. At least three people — apparently all attacking insurgents — were killed.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the strike in the Torkham area, the latest in a surge of attacks in Afghanistan as U.S.-led foreign troops reduce their presence en route to a full withdrawal by the end of next year. Militants frequently target NATO's supply lines in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In a brief statement, NATO confirmed an “unsuccessful coordinated attack by enemy forces” but said none of its personnel was killed. The military alliance generally does not release information on wounded troops. No members of the Afghan security forces or civilians were killed or wounded, according to Esa Khan Zwak, chief administrator in Mohmandara district, in which the base is located.
Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said several militants wearing suicide vests and carrying other weapons staged the attack, and that Afghan and U.S. forces exchanged gunfire with the insurgents. NATO helicopters joined the fight, he added.
The encounter began about 6:30 a.m. and lasted three-and-a-half hours, said Masoum Khan Hashimi, deputy provincial police chief in Nangarhar province. Afghan security forces trying to clear the area were still defusing a bomb in a car, Hashimi said, and at least one car bomb was successfully detonated in the attack.
An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw three bodies of suspected attackers, apparently shot dead from the NATO helicopters. The suspected insurgents didn't manage to enter the main base area, but had tried to hide under a small canal bridge near it when they were hit.
The highway between Jalalabad and Torkham, an important route for NATO supply trucks, was closed, Abdulzai said. Militants on both sides of the border have frequently targeted the supply line, leading NATO to shift much of its supply delivery toward routes from Central Asian states instead of through Pakistan.
Afghan officials say a parking lot at the outpost was a stopping point for many types of vehicles used by U.S. and other NATO forces.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Syrian regime, rebels trade blame in chemical attack in Kfar Zeita
- 284 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster
- Australia PM confident sounds from black box
- Missing plane’s black box batteries feared to have died
- 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria; militants blamed
- North Korean embassy officials in London pay visit to salon owner
- Iran blasts ambassador visa denial
- Ukraine bares teeth as troops repel rebels