Attack on remote Afghan outposts kills 8 US troops

Last Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 13:29

Kabul: Militant fighters streaming from a
village and a mosque attacked a pair of remote outposts near
the Pakistan border, killing eight American soldiers and as
many as seven Afghan forces in one of the fiercest attacks of
the troubled eight-year war.

The Taliban claimed responsibility.
The raid began around dawn yesterday morning and lasted
several hours, said Jamaludin Badar, governor of Nuristan
province. Badar said the two outposts were on a hill, one on
top and one at the foot of the slope, flanked by the village
on one side and the mosque on the other.

The US military statement said the Americans and Afghans
repelled the attack by tribal fighters and "inflicted heavy
enemy casualties."

"This was a complex attack in a difficult area," Col
Randy George, the area commander, said in the US statement.
"Both the US and Afghan soldiers fought bravely together."
Nuristan, bordering Pakistan, was where a militant raid
on an outpost in July 2008 claimed the lives of nine American
soldiers and led to allegations of negligence by their senior
commanders. Army Gen David Petraeus last week ordered a new
investigation into that firefight, in which some 200 militants
armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars
pushed their way into the base.

Badar said he had sought more security forces for
Kamdesh, the district where yesterday`s attack took place and
said Taliban fighters had fled to Nuristan and neighbouring
Kunar after Pakistani forces drove many extremists from the
the Swat Valley earlier this year.

Bureau Report




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