13 NATO Troops, 12 American and 1 Canadian Killed in Taliban Attacks in Afghanistan

Amidst a time line to withdraw NATO and US troops by 2014, the Taliban, linked to the Haqqani network in Pakistan, have again penetrated NATO defences.  A suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying NATO troops,  killed 13 foreign troops.  It was earlier reported that all 13 soldiers were American, but the Canadian Department of Defence  has confirmed that one of the troops was Canadian.  The attack also killed four Afghans.    In a separate attack in southern Afghanistan three Australian soldiers were killed and another seven injured.  The bomb, which was contained in a car was detonated at 11:20 local time.  This is the deadliest attack since the downed chopper that killed 38 US troops, including 22 Navy Seals, in August.

The attack occurred in the Darulaman area of Kabul.  The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that initial reports indicated that the attack was with a vehicle born bomb.  Eyewitness called the bomb very strong.   According to reports the back of the bus was a charred shell and NATO helicopters were seen taking away casualties.

Earlier on Saturday there was another suicide attack in Kunar province.  Fortunately the guards outside the targeted intelligence building became suspicious of a female suicide bomber and opened fire, when she blew herself up.  There were no other casualties.

The Taliban have taken responsibility for the attack.  In a text message to AFP, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, “A suicide car bomb attack was carried out on a bus of foreign forces in the Darulaman area of Kabul.”

Taliban attacks have increased in Afghanistan during recent months.  The Taliban claimed responsibility of an attack on a compound in Kandahar,  housing Western officials and military personnel,  on Thursday.  The attack ended after a 15 hour battle.

During the past months, Pakistan’s intelligence service (ISI) has been accused of supporting and coordinating Taliban attacks into Afghanistan.  Among the accusers was outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen.  Pakistan has denied this.

As NATO starts its draw down of troops, the question still remains if Afghanistan is ready to look after its own security.  The recent Taliban activity, despite the killing of key leaders by US drones, seems  to be able to attack at will.  Will a NATO withdrawal result in a takeover of the Taliban?  These are all questions to be answered.



About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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