Suicide bombers storm US base

A team of suicide bombers attempted an attack on US military base near the Afghanistan border with Pakistan.
Afghan national army soldiers patrol the streets of the capital.
Afghan national army soldiers patrol the streets of the capital.

KABUL // A team of suicide bombers tried to storm a US military base near the border with Pakistan in a daring insurgent attack on a major American installation, officials said. Six suicide bombers attacked and three detonated their vests, Nato officials said.

Afghan officials said at least 13 militants died in the attack, including six suicide bombers. Nato offered a slightly different account, saying three suicide bombers detonated their vests, three bombers were shot to death and seven attackers in total were killed. The militants who attacked the US base failed to gain entry to Camp Salerno in Khost city after launching waves of attacks just before midnight yesterday, said Arsallah Jamal, the governor of Khost. Salerno is the second largest US base in Afghanistan, after the main base at Bagram. The attack came one day after a suicide bomb outside Salerno that killed 10 civilians and wounded 13 others.

Soldiers on the ground, fighter aircraft and helicopters chased the retreating militants. Nato said its forces identified the attackers about 1km outside of the base perimeter and launched helicopters. Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman, said Afghan soldiers, aided by US troops, chased and surrounded a group of insurgents, and six militants in suicide vests blew themselves up when cornered. Seven other militants died in those explosions and a rolling gun battle, he said.

* AP

Published: August 19, 2008 04:00 AM


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