x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Taliban suicide attack on US base kills 3

Suicide car bombing happened near the entrance of Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, a Taliban flashpoint that borders Pakistan.

KHOST, AFGHANISTAN // A Taliban suicide car bombing hit a US-run base in eastern Afghanistan today, killing at least three Afghans and wounding seven others, officials said.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attack was a suicide car bombing and happened near the entrance of Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, a Taliban flashpoint that borders Pakistan.

"Three Afghan nationals are killed and seven Afghan nationals are wounded. We have no report of coalition casualties right now," Major Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said.

The blast was so powerful that it rattled the windows of buildings in the city, some four kilometres away, an AFP journalist said.

In December 2009 an Al Qaeda triple agent blew himself up at FOB Chapman, killing seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler, the deadliest attack on the US intelligence agency since 1983.

The Taliban, who have waged a bloody insurgency against foreign and Afghan government forces for the past 11 years since being ousted from power in an invasion led by the United States, claimed Wednesday's attack.

"The attack was carried out by a mujtahid named Omar from Khost who knew the area very well," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said.

He said the attacker "detonated a car bomb while American invading forces were searching visitors going to the base".

Abdul Qayoum Baqizai, the Khost provincial police chief, said in a live TV interview that the blast happened at the eastern gates of the base.

"One police officer who tried to search the vehicle and two civilians nearby were killed," he said.

In August 2010, 24 Taliban militants, some wearing US uniforms, were killed when they tried to storm Camp Chapman and another nearby US base, Camp Salerno, which was also the target of a suicide lorry bombing in June this year.