The vehicle used in the suicide assault on Forward Operating Base Gardez in Paktia province. Image courtesy of the US Army/CJTF-101
US and Afghan forces have defeated another coordinated Haqqani Network assault on a US outpost in eastern Afghanistan. The attack is the second of its kind in eastern Afghanistan in three days.
The al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network attempted to breach the outer perimeter of Forward Operating Base Gardez in Paktia province with a coordinated suicide assault today. A suicide bomber driving a car was followed by four fighters armed with AK-47 assault rifles and suicide vests who “attempted to breach a fortified area of the base,” but were stopped by US and Afghan troops guarding the outpost, according to a Combined Joint Task Force 101 press release.
“Coalition forces engaged the vehicle, destroying it and disrupting the attack,” CJTF-101 stated. ” The remaining attackers were killed as they attempted to flee the scene.” In the failed assault, only two Afghan soldiers were reported to have been wounded.
Coalition forces are “pursuing the remainder of the attacking force, estimated to be around 20.”
Background on recent attacks on US outposts in eastern Afghanistan
Since the end of August, the Haqqani Network has carried out five major attacks against heavily defended US outposts in eastern Afghanistan.
On Aug. 28, Haqqani Network fighters launched coordinated attacks against Forward Operating Bases Salerno and Chapman in Khost province. US and Afghan troops routed the Haqqani Network fighters, killing more than 35, including a commander, during and after the attacks. Several of the fighters were wearing US Army uniforms, and 13 were armed with suicide vests. During raids in the aftermath of the attacks, US forces killed and captured several commanders and fighters.
On Sept. 2, the Haqqani Network attempted to storm Combat Outpost Margah in the Bermel district of Paktika province. US troops repelled the attack with mortar and small-arms fire, then called in helicopter gunships to finish off the attackers; 20 were reported killed.
And in the last attack, on Sept. 21, US troops killed 27 Haqqani Network fighters as they mustered to assault Combat Outpost Spera.
The Taliban and the Haqqani Network have launched attacks at several major installations across the country this year. In May, a small team attempted to breach security at Kandahar Airfield after launching a rocket attack on the base; another small team conducted a suicide assault at the main gate at Bagram Airbase in Parwan province. In June, the Taliban launched an assault against Jalalabad Airfield in Nangarhar province. The Taliban carried out a suicide assault against the Afghan National Civil Order Police headquarters in Kandahar City in July; three US soldiers were killed in the attack, which included a suicide car bomber and a follow-on assault team. And in early August, the Taliban again conducted a complex attack at Kandahar Airfield. All of the attacks were successfully repelled by Coalition and Afghan forces.
For more information on the Haqqani Network, its links to al Qaeda, and ISAF operations targeting its leadership, see LWJ report, US troops defeat Haqqani Network assault on base in Khost.
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