Friday, August 27, 2010

Taliban attack allied bases in Afghanistan's Khost area

Suspected Taliban insurgents have attacked two coalition allied bases in eastern Afghanistan, Nato forces say.

Coalition forces repelled both attacks, killing 10 militants and capturing several more, Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said.

There was no confirmation of any allied casualties from the fighting, in Khost province south-east of Kabul.
 The Taliban had earlier told reporters that at least 28 fighters - some of them suicide bombers - were involved.

The Isaf statement said: "Insurgent forces attacked the installations with indirect and small arms fire.
"Isaf ground forces, supported by combat aviation assets, killed at least 10 insurgents, captured several more and destroyed one recoil-less rifle."
The BBC's Quentin Sommerville, in Kabul, says Taliban insurgents are increasingly using this more sophisticated guerrilla-style attack.
Commander captured
Earlier, local police chief Adbul Hakim Is'haqzai told AFP news agency that the insurgents launched rockets and began shooting at Forward Operating Base Salerno in the early hours of Saturday.

The militants had pulled back after a period of fighting, he said, and had occupied a school.

One local resident, Amir Shah, told AFP: "There are gunshots being heard all around my home. I'm scared of the attackers entering my home and of being bombarded by coalition forces."

Khost map

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told journalists that at least 28 heavily armed fighters had been sent to the area, but his claims could not be verified.
The other base that came under attack is believed to be Camp Chapman, where seven US intelligence agents were killed in a suicide attack last December.

That was the most deadly attack on US intelligence officials since the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983.

Earlier this week Isaf announced that its forces had captured a senior commander of the local Taliban network in Khost - though it is not clear whether the arrest is connected to the latest attacks.

Meanwhile, across the border Pakistani security officials say four Taliban militants have been killed in a suspected US missile attack.
The missiles hit vehicles being driven by militants in the Kurram tribal area, which is not regularly targeted by US drones.

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