Monday, July 14, 2008
16:43 Mecca time, 13:43 GMT
Taliban fighters storm US base

The clash at the military outpost in Kunar province lasted several hours [AFP file]

Taliban fighters have stormed a Nato-led forces' outpost in northeastern Afghanistan, killing nine American soldiers and wounding another fifteen, before being driven back.

Mark Laity, a Nato civilian spokesman, told Al Jazeera that the Taliban's attack on the base on Sunday was "substantial" but had been defeated.

"Very, very rarely do they get through the wire," he said on Monday.

"Overall fighting is actually still overwhelmingly going our way ... this is the time of year when the Taliban attack a lot and that's why you're seeing elevated activity levels. We have to cope with them and in general terms we are."

Officials were keen to play down the fact Taliban fighters had breached the barriers of the Isaf base in Kunar province.

But the attack inflicted the worst losses US forces have suffered in Afghanistan in three years.

Four Afghan soldiers were also killed in the attack.

Between 400 and 500 fighters from various anti-government factions including Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Hezb-i-Islami faction were involved, a senior Afghan defence ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

Taliban 'strength'

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, cited the attack as evidence that the group, which was forced from power in Afghanistan by the US invasion in 2001, was growing stronger.

"The fighting in Afghanistan is getting heavier. When the Americans drop bombs on civilians ordinary people want revenge - that's why they are joining the Taliban, strengthening us," he told Al Jazeera.

"Now, instead of firing at the bases from far away, the Taliban has the ability to enter the bases and kill Americans."

James Bays, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kabul, said: "The information we have is that this is a new base set that was set up by American forces ... and because it was a new base, possibly it wasn't as well fortified.

"We understand the Taliban started firing from the mountains, but it seems that this firing was a distraction and we are told by government sources that Taliban fighters managed to get very close to the base and then staged a surprise attack.

"Over 100 Taliban fighters attacked the base - some of them got on to the base for a time."

Daring attack

Nato's Laity told Al Jazeera the Taliban had taken over a village close to the base in order to carry out the attack.

"What they [the Taliban] did was they moved into an adjacent village - which was close to the combat outpost - they basically expelled the villagers and used their houses to attack us," he said.

Earlier, Captain Mike Finney, a spokesperson for the Isaf, told Al Jazeera that while a number of US troops had indeed been killed, the "insurgents haven't gained any ground".

He said the attackers had failed in their goal to overrun the outpost which the Isaf soldiers had only recently occupied.

After the Isaf troops repulsed the Taliban fighters, an air raid was called.

An Afghan official confirmed the air raid and said there might also have been civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, in the southern province of Helmand, a roadside blast killed six Afghan private security guards escorting a supply convoy for Nato-led troops, an official said.

Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, the provincial police chief, said two other guards were wounded in the attack, which took place in Gereshk district.

Kidnapping claimed

In other news, the Taliban claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of an Afghan senator who was snatched at a gunpoint 70km from Kabul.

Abdul Wali, a member of the Upper House of the parliament from the province of Logar adjoining Kabul, was kidnapped on Sunday as he was driving with his two guards and driver, police said.

"Taliban have abducted Dr Abdul Wali and until now Taliban's leading council have not made any decision on his fate," Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, told the AFP news agency.

 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
Feedback Number of comments : 13
Too be fair davis the US is starting to win in Iraq, also we are not checkmated in afghanistan.

New Zealand (Aotearoa)
god why can we not all live in peace and grow up. forget the past and forget religion and tribes.love every one you come accross in life and enjoy that we are all different

United States
US soldiers dead in Afghan fighting
Bin Ladin must be laughing his turban off with the US Military checkmated in Afganistan and isolated in Iraq and no place to achieve a victory in either. Israel is now making peace with all of its enemies without the advocacy of the US. Iran is on the brink of nuclear independance and looking to finish the US Military in a conventional war. The Soviets, Europe and the Chinese have the economic and energy upper hand, plus using all of these assets to rebuild a formidable military alliance.

maj gen aps chauhan
The West and its supporters including my country must come to terms with history of Afghanistan . Its not the question of Taliban it is simply Afghan pride.

Kara Mustapha
Taliban fightersstorm the base
So much for the glorious American century!Whate are the neo-fascists, oops! Sorry, the neo-cons going to do?All the dreams of world domination were but mere puffs in the wind. Imagine a world without the good ol' US of A. It would be a happy one. Truely. Just imagine.

United States
Davis, you really ought to open your eyes and look at what is REALLY happening. The US is making advances in all sorts of fronts in the war on terror. How can you ridicule the fact that Israel is making peace. And do you think Bin laden is really laughing. I don't think so. He has watched his organization fall from power while the US makes progress on peace and stabilization. The media only depicts the negative sides of everything...you should know that.

how cruel can USA get?
How many millions of people does USA wants to kill? and they use chemical weapon when they face difficulty... like the white phosphorous they used in fallujah read: http://www.hizb.org.uk/hizb/news-watch/muslim-countries/iraq-special-weapons-have-a-fallout-on-babies.html and God is watching all our action and to Him we ALL shall return

United States
Taliban fighters storm US base
When the Americans drop bombs on civilians ordinary people want revenge - that's why they are joining the Taliban. That pretty much sums it up.

OH really Americans...
Like most of you, America isnt helping anyone live their life easier. Its after more resources. Country after country. So if you think they are fighting a war on terror, then you are so wrong.

Jan Khan
United Kingdom
Taliban fighters storm US base
The Taliban storm US base, but in return the US & Isaf bombed few innocent villages from air, why didnt they put the army on grounds to see if they are killing innocent civilians or Taliban. This proves that they dont give a 'S -t' about civilians and the same old statements to media, to cover their wrong doings. Over 40 women, children and men died because of bombing, houses and shops destroyed. How would one feel in losing their brother, sister or a son? Whom are they to join, u know?

United States
Repeting mistakes
Rusia faught for many years in Afganistan and lost. People in the US seem to ignore history and relying on technology make the same mistake, over and over: Vietneam, Corea, Irak, ... and Afganistan. Do you expect to win after those the airstrikes kiling so many civilians?.

United States
Where are we going?
I read people saying winning in these comments, but who's winning? Remember the Iraq war was called Iraqi Freedom. Are the people really free since the US has been there? The people always get the brunt of it when wars happen. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are being slaughtered for oil and more while the citizens of the US are paying higher than ever for gas at the pump. Wars are intended to bring down the poor and reward the rich! This isn't about winning or losing....

US Defeat in Iraq & Afghanistan
In the name of peace accross the world, USA wants to dominate in Iraq & Afghanistan. On the other hand, US military babies are giving lives while killing hundreds of Iraqi and Afghan citizens. Now they are poking there nose in to Iran issues to have another great blow, they never imagined. However, thousands of more US-British soldiers are waiting to die (they should die as well because they are coming to kill people) in the name of Bush planted peace tree. As you sow, so you reap!

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