A suicide bomber killed five Coalition soldiers in a restive province north of Kabul today. The Taliban claimed credit for the attack.
The International Security Assistance Force confirmed that five soldiers were killed in eastern Afghanistan but did not provide details on the location of the attack or the nationality of the soldiers.
“An insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan has resulted in the deaths of five ISAF service members,” ISAF stated in an SMS message.
The attack took place in the Joy Bar area of the Tagab district in Kapisa province, according to a report in Pajhwok Afghan News. The soldiers who were killed are French, the Afghan news service reported. They were killed after the suicide bomber attacked the soldiers as they were leaving the home of a local police commander. The French are responsible for security in Kapisa.
The Taliban claimed credit for the suicide attack, and said it was carried out by a man from Nangarhar province known as Murad. The Taliban claimed that 27 French soldiers were killed and wounded in the attack.
Kapisa province has served as an insurgent bastion for several years, hosting a wide array of criminal and terrorist networks, including Taliban suicide-bomb cells, Hizb-i-Islami fighters loyal to al Qaeda-linked commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and anti-government tribal militias. Kapisa is used as a staging area for attacks, including suicide strikes, into the capital of Kabul. Hundreds of Taliban and HIG fighters are based in Kapisa.
Over the past several years, Taliban commanders Qari Baryal, Mullah Ofi, Mullah Mahmood, Qari Nejat, Ahmad Shah, Mullah Rohoullah, Khairullah Nezami, and Qari Ezmarai have been identified as influential leaders in Kapisa. Most of these commanders have been linked to al Qaeda.
Earlier this year, ISAF forces killed Qari Baryal, a Taliban commander who established the networks in Kapisa that aid strikes into Kabul (otherwise known as the Kabul Attack Network). Baryal, who was killed in an airstrike in Kunar, was in “close contact with al Qaeda leaders and facilitators.”
Shah and Rohoullah, who were killed in August 2008, facilitated the movement of “foreign fighters” into Kapisa, according to ISAF. The term ‘foreign fighters’ is used to describe al Qaeda and allied terror groups. The two commanders were behind the deadly Aug. 18, 2008 ambush against a combined French and Afghan patrol in the Sarobi district in Kabul province, just 30 miles from the Afghan capital. The joint patrol had been tasked with monitoring the suspected insurgent route that connects Kabul’s Sarobi district with the Tag Ab Valley. During the complex ambush, 10 French soldiers were killed and 21 were wounded.
And Nezami and Ezmarai, who were also killed in August 2008, also have been linked to the movement of suicide bombers and foreign terrorists into Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan.
Nejat, the district commander for Tagab, was also killed in August 2008.
For more information on Kapisa province, see LWJ reports, Kapisa province: The Taliban’s gateway to Kabul, and Coalition: Senior Taliban leaders killed in Kapisa province.