Taliban claim suicide attack outside Bagram Air Base

The Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack today outside of a major US base in central Afghanistan that killed two Afghans and wounded five people, including two Coalition soldiers. The Taliban also carried out a second suicide bombing in the east today, killing an Afghan intelligence official.

In Parwan province, the suicide bomber detonated his vest “in front of the third gate” at Bagram Air Base at 6 p.m. local Afghan time, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. Afghan officials said that two locals who worked at the base were killed, and two Coalition soldiers and three Afghan civilians were wounded in the attack.

The Taliban claimed the attack was carried out at Bagram to take “revenge” for the burning of Korans at the base more than two weeks ago, according to a statement released on its website, Voice of Jihad.

“The attack was in revenge for the burning of the copies of Holy Quran in the very base by US terrorist as Ant-US fury has deepened significantly triggering a series of widespread protests across the country since this worst act of blasphemy occurred,” the Taliban statement said.

The Taliban claimed the suicide bomber, named Ahmad, “drove up to the gate third of the Airbase and detonated his bomb-laden car at a fairly large group of the American troops who had just returned from a patrol mission,” and killed “as many as 12 American invading troops and injured many others.” The Taliban often exaggerate the results of their operations.

The Taliban have been quick to seize on the Feb. 21 incident to incite protests outside the gate. Urdu-speaking Pakistanis have been spotted outside the gates of Bagram giving speeches and inciting the crowds to violence. Taliban flags have also been displayed during the protests.

In an official statement signed by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and released on Feb. 23 on its website, Voice of Jihad, the Taliban urged Afghans to strike at US and NATO bases and personnel, as well as against Afghan security forces.

“We should not be satisfied with mere protests and empty slogans but the military bases of the invaders, their military convoys and their troops should become a target of our courageous attacks,” said the statement.

The Taliban and a host of terror groups are known to operate in Parwan, and have demonstrated the ability to execute attacks in the province. The May 2010 suicide assault on Bagram Air Base was executed by a joint Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and al Qaeda strike team. And within the past six months, the Taliban and allied terror groups have carried out several major complex attacks in Parwan.

On Aug. 14, 2011, a Taliban suicide assault team launched a complex attack on the governor’s compound in central Parwan province, killing 22 people, including six policemen. On Oct. 23, a suicide bomber attempted to assassinate the Afghan interior minister in the province. And a few days later, on Oct. 26, terrorists attempted to blow up a fuel tank inside of Bagram Air Base; the tanker exploded outside the gates, killing 12 Afghans.

Suicide bombing in Nangarhar

In addition to today’s attack at Bagram in Parwan province, a Taliban suicide bombing in Nangarhar province killed a member of the National Directorate of Security’s Reaction Unit and wounded another intelligence official, a policeman, and eight civilians in an attack in Jalalabad.

The suicide bomber attacked a police vehicle parked outside of the Radio Television Afghanistan, according to Pajhwok and Xinhua. The bombing occurred just 200 yards from the governor’s compound.

The suicide attack in Jalalabad is the second since Jan. 27, when a bomber rammed his car packed with explosives into the main gate at Jalalabad Airfield, killing nine Afghans. The Taliban claimed the attack.

The Taliban have launched several attacks against Jalalabad Airfield in the past. The last major attack took place in November 2011, when a six-man suicide assault team was gunned down while attempting to storm the base. The year before, in June 2010, a suicide assault team attempted to penetrate security but was repelled during a firefight with US and Afghan security forces manning the perimeter.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • Eddie D. says:

    These guys call themselves Muslims, and then they go out and murder, and then boast about how proud they are to be able to say they killed other Muslims. I wonder, if any Qurans were scorched in the process? Their reasoning is funny, they don’t care that it involves the taking of lives so why should we?……..seems like we should just torch the whole country and be done with it but then it would be over, and, the people here can’t find employment, and, then 100,000 plus people coming back to the states, and, then many of them would be looking for employment, and they couldn’t find it, and, the unemployment lines would get longer, and, mannnnnn are we in a catch 22 or what?

  • Devin Leonard says:

    I love how the Taliban exaggerate the hell out of every Op they execute…it sounds like they did minimal damage other then killing a couple of people, injuring a few more and creating a big hole min the ground.

  • mike merlo says:

    If this is the best the insurgents can muster then its pretty pathetic. All of these Koran incidents were probably already ‘booked events’ excepting some of the protests & even those are down to a trickle. Whats most telling is the lack of any concerted or sustained attacks or incidents in or around Kabul. This is a strong indicator of whatever is taking place in the rooting out (‘knock on wood’) of the Haqqani Network is working.

  • sports says:

    Even though a couple of innocent Afghanies were killed at least there is one less terrorist to worry about.

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