Attack on base in Afghanistan leaves at least one member of U.S.-led coalition forces dead

January 20

A complex attack on a military base in southern Afghanistan Monday killed at least one member of the U.S.-led coalition forces.

The attack, which included a car bomb and several suicide bombers and gunmen wearing western military uniforms, occurred in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, one of the most hard-fought swaths of southern Afghanistan. It comes two days after an attack on a Lebanese restaurant in Kabul that killed 21 civilians, including 13 foreigners.

Insurgents on Monday chose another ambitious target — one of the last remaining forward operating bases in Kandahar — and devoted significant resources to the assault. In an exchange of gunfire, all of the attackers were killed, officials said.

“This was a complex attack with a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, enemy forces with suicide vests and small arms fire,” according to a statement from the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). “Operational reports state there was moderate damage to the outer perimeter of the base.”

Javed Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor, said nine attackers were involved.

“Insurgents wanted to storm an ISAF base in Zhari, but they failed,” he said, adding that the men tried to disguise themselves in coalition military uniforms.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it a “coordinated group martyrdom assault” in a tweet.

Kevin Sieff has been The Post’s bureau chief in Afghanistan since 2012. He served previously as an education reporter in Washington, and had covered the U.S. -Mexico border.
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