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2 guards killed, 9 injured in blast on US base

2 guards killed, 9 injured in blast on US base

Aug 18, 2011 - 09:07

GARDEZ (PAN): Two Afghan guards were killed and nine civilians injured in a suicide attack on a US military base in southeastern Paktia province on Thursday, Afghan and NATOinfo-icon officials said.

The attack occurred at the eastern gate of the base at around 7am, Rohullah Samoon, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News. Two Afghan guards were killed and nine civilians working on the base injured.

An explosives-laden truck tried to enter the base near Gardez, but the trucker detonated the explosives after failing to pass through the primary security gates, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) said. 

Two Afghan security guards were killed and no ISAF casualties were reported, a statementfrom the force said. Security forces cordoned off the area and were assessing the extent of the damage.

But an Afghan border policeman on the base, who wished anonymity, said the attack involved a Hino truck. Explosives in the truck were placed beneath firewood. The truck had cleared the first and second checkpoints, but was intercepted the main entrance, he said.

As the guards opened fire on the vehicle, the suicide bomber detonated the truck, the policeman said. There was a dining room as well as vehicles and helicopters parked near the scene, he concluded.

Nangyalay Safi, a doctor at the Gardez Civil Hospital, confirmed receiving six injured people. One of them was in critical condition and was taken to Kabulinfo-icon, he said.  

Khan Zaman, hailing from the Hootkhel area of Kabul who was also wounded in the incident, said they had brought logistic supplies to the base and were there when the explosion happened.

“We were asleep in our tractor-trolleys after arriving on the base before dawn and were yet to unload the cargo. When we heard a loud explosion in the morning, I went unconscious and did not know what happened,” Zaman added.

An Afghan worker on the base, who did not want to be named, said Afghan and foreign security forces had suffered heavy casualties.

The Afghan victims were shifted to a Gardez Military Corps’ hospital, he said, adding that US forces suffered casualties and one of their helicopters was also damaged. He did not provide information about the number of casualties.

A Talibaninfo-icon spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the attack was carried out by Abdul Aziz, a 70-year-old resident of the Kamdesh district of eastern Nuristan province.

Hundreds of kilograms of explosives were used in the attack, inflicting casualties on dozens of US servicemembers, Mujahid concluded.


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