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Jul 25th, 2009

Suicide Attackers Strike Southeast Afghan City

Gunbattles kill 7 militants as U.S. forces step up security before elections

Image: Damage from Taliban attack in Khost, Afghanistan
An Afghan police officer looks at a guard post damaged in an attack in Khost, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, July 25, 2009. (Photo credit: Nishanuddin Khan / AP)

July 25, 2009

KABUL — For the second time in a week, Taliban fighters armed with suicide vests and automatic weapons attacked a provincial capital in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, triggering hours-long gunbattles that left seven militants dead, officials said. …

The assault in Khost began when at least six Taliban fighters carrying AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades stormed the area around the main police station and a nearby government-run bank. All were shot and killed before they could detonate their suicide vests, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A  seventh attacker detonated a car rigged with explosives near a police rapid reaction force, wounding two policemen, the ministry said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said all the attackers were killed, but the Defense Ministry later said an eighth attacker may have escaped. The ministry said no government forces were killed but 14 people were wounded — 11 civilians and three police.

The attack came five days after Taliban militants launched near-simultaneous assaults in Gardez, about 50 miles northwest of Khost, and in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Six Afghan police and intelligence officers and eight militants died in the two attacks. …

U.S. troops helped provide security during the Khost attack but were not involved in the battle. …

Also Saturday, a British soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand province, the focus of major offensives by U.S. and British forces. The soldier was the 20th British service member killed in Afghanistan this month and the 189th since the war began in 2001.

Fighting has increased sharply in Afghanistan this month after President Barack Obama ordered thousands more U.S. troops to the country, shifting the focus of the war against Muslim extremism from Iraq.

At least 66 international troops have died in July, the bloodiest month of the nearly eight-year war.


Related reports

Bomb attack kills 2 U.S. troops in Afghanistan

As deaths rise, so do doubts on Afghan war

Friends of fallen serviceman Jimmy Backhouse react as his hearse passes mourners lining the street on July 14, 2009 in Wootton Bassett, England.
Friends of slain serviceman Jimmy Backhouse react as hearses carrying the bodies of eight British soldiers killed during a 24-hour period in Afghanistan pass mourners on July 14, 2009 in Wootton Bassett, England. (Photo credit: Simon Dawson / AP file)

Bin Laden son thought killed in Pakistan


Report: Son of bin Laden killed (NBC Nightly News, July 23, 2009) — A son of Osama bin Laden — the third eldest son of his 17 children — was reported to have been killed in Pakistan by a U.S. missile strike. NBC’s Brian Williams reports. (00:23)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago Today — July 25, 2008

On the Campaign Trail: Day 11

One year ago today, on the 11th day of my 2008 campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I reported back on a local “Know Your Rights” immigrant forum that had raised concern among some residents.

3 Responses to “Taliban Counteroffensive”
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