A suicide bomber apparently penetrated security at a US combat outpost in Khost province and detonated inside a facility on the base; CNN reported the attack took place at either a chow hall or a gym at Combat Outpost Chapman:
A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest attacked Forward Operating Base Chapman near the district of Khost in Khost province, said the official, who asked not to be named.
There were conflicting reports as to whether the bomber walked into the dining facility or the gym at the facility, and the casualty toll ranged from five to nine people. It is not known how many were killed or injured
A US military spokesman told Stars & Stripes that no US soldiers were killed:
It was unknown whether American civilian personnel were killed in the attack, but there were no U.S. military personnel killed, said Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
“What I can confirm is that there were no U.S. military killed,” he said, speaking by phone from Kabul.
Press TV has added to the confusion and claimed that five US and four unidentified soldiers were killed in an attack on a convoy in Khost. Note that the numbers seem to match the CNN report:
On Wednesday, five US troops and four Afghan soldiers were killed in the blast that hit near a US military base in the eastern province of Khost.
The US military has confirmed the deaths and says the cause of the blast is still under investigation. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Khost is a stronghold of the Haqqani Network, the Taliban group closely allied with al Qaeda. The Haqqanis have conducted some of the most deadly suicide attacks and assaults in Afghanistan. The group has embraced al Qaeda ideology and tactics; suicide bombings are a common tactic used by the Haqqani Networks.
This post will be updated as more information is released.
Update at 1:30 ET:
The Wall Street Journal claimed eight Americans were killed, but conflicting reports put the attack at either a US embassy compound or a US military base:
A U.S. official in Afghanistan would not confirm the report of a suicide bombing, saying an investigation is under way. The official said the attack occurred at a U.S. military base in southeastern Afghanistan’s Khost province and that all of those killed were Americans.
A spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan said none of the dead were soldiers and that the attack was not on a U.S. military base, but at a facility associated with the U.S. Embassy.
Update at 10:01 ET:
The questions surrounding this story, other than how the suicide bomber penetrated security, seem to eb answered. According to The Washington Post, the base was used by the CIA, and eight people were killed in the suicide attack. The based was used by the CIA t hunt the Taliban in Pakistan.
U.S. sources confirmed that all the dead and injured were civilians and said they believed that most, if not all, were CIA employees or contractors. At least one Afghan civilian also was killed, the sources said.
It is unclear exactly how the assailant managed to gain access to the heavily guarded U.S.-run post, which serves as an operations and surveillance center for the CIA. The bomber struck in what one U.S. official described as the base’s fitness center.
In addition to the dead, eight people were wounded, several of them seriously, U.S. government officials said.
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