Monday, July 14, 2008

Taliban launch deadly attack on a combat outpost in Afghanistan's Kunar province

Honest bad news from the front. Still, in any other war the loss of nine guys at a forward outpost would not make a headline. If this is the best the Taliban can do to harm our troops, then they are doomed.

Taliban launch deadly attack on a combat outpost in Afghanistan's Kunar province - The Long War Journal: "The Taliban launched a complex attack against a newly established combat outpost in the Pech district in Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar. Heavy fighting is currently underway, and US forces have taken multiple casualties in the attack. Nine US soldiers have been killed during the battle.

The Taliban launched the attack early this morning at approximately 4:30 AM according to a press release from the International Security Assistance Force. The Taliban initiated the battle 'with small arms, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars using homes, shops and the mosque in the village of Wanat for cover.'

Afghan and US forces based at the outpost have fought back and called in artillery and helicopter support and airstrikes.

Afghan, US, and Taliban casualties had not been released as the fighting is ongoing, but ISAF reported that 'there have been casualties on both sides of the fight.' The Associated Press reported that nine US soldiers have been killed. ISAF later confirmed nine US troops were killed, and 15 US soldiers and four Afghan troops were wounded. The attack is one of the largest incidents of US casualties during a ground engagement in Afghanistan."

For more information this is good: - Officials: More Than 100 Militants Attacked, Breached U.S. Base - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News: "An insurgent force of more than 100 fighters breached the outer walls of a small, remote U.S. outpost that was built just last week, allowing insurgents to attack American soldiers from the inside, where they inflicted heavy casualties, officials said Monday.

The assault early Sunday killed nine American soldiers and wounded 15 in the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan in three years.

The insurgent assault was launched from multiple sides and was a "concerted attempt" to overrun the small base completed on Friday, said an official with NATO's International Security Assistance Force who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

A huge wave of insurgents attacked the outpost and an unknown number of militants got inside, the reason the fighters were able to inflict such high casualties, a second military official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

After the breach, U.S. troops pushed back against the invading militants, and attack helicopters swooped in. The second official said more than 40 insurgents were killed in the fighting.

The insurgent force was described as being in the "low three figures," meaning low hundreds, the first official said.

Ghulam Farooq, a top police official in Nuristan province, which neighbors Kunar and the region of the attack, said that Afghans living in the village of Wanat deserted the area on Friday and Saturday — the days the U.S. base would have been first constructed.

Farooq said the insurgent forces of Hezb-i-Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and the Taliban are in the area. He said Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters operate there.

The militants fired on the American outpost from homes and a mosque in the village of Wanat. The attack began around 4:30 a.m. and the fighting lasted much of the day."

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