The Taliban killed four Afghan security personnel in a rocket attack at Bagram Air Base in Parwan province, and killed a police commander and five Afghans in a suicide bombing in the western province of Herat today. The Taliban have executed three suicide attacks in central, northern, and western Afghanistan in four days.
The Taliban claimed credit for today’s rocket attack at Bagram Air Base, the largest NATO facility, in a statement released at Voice of Jihad. The Taliban fired rockets as Afghan and Coalition special operation forces prepared to launch a raid in the Koh-i-Safi district in Parwan, according to Pajhwok Afghan News.
Three Afghan intelligence operatives from the National Directorate of Security and a policeman were killed, and an undisclosed number of Afghan and Coalition security personnel were wounded, Khaama Press reported. One helicopter was destroyed and several others are said to have been damaged.
Today’s attack at Bagram Air Base took place just three weeks after a Taliban rocket team damaged the airplane used by General Martin Dempsey, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while it was parked on the runway at Bagram. Two US troops were wounded in the Aug. 21 attack, and a helicopter was also damaged. General Dempsey, who was visiting senior Afghan officials, flew out of the country on a different airplane.
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. A suicide assault on Bagram Air Base in May 2010 was executed by a joint Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and al Qaeda strike team. And within the past year, the Taliban and allied terror groups have carried out several major complex attacks in Parwan.
On March 5, 2012, a suicide bomber killed two Afghans and wounded five people, including two Coalition soldiers, in an attack outside Bagram Air Base. On Oct. 23, 2011 a suicide bomber attempted to assassinate the Afghan interior minister in the province. A few days later, on Oct. 26, 2011, terrorists attempted to blow up a fuel tanker inside Bagram Air Base; the tanker exploded outside the gates, killing 12 Afghans. And 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.
Suicide attack in Herat
In Herat province, a suicide bomber killed a local police commander and five Afghans in an attack today at a bazaar in the Keshk-e-Kohna district. The attack took place while a tribal meeting was being held at the bazaar, according to Khaama Press. No group has claimed credit for the attack.
An al Qaeda-linked Taliban group under the command of Samihullah is known to operate in Herat. Samihullah and his predecessor Ghlam Yahya Akbari, who was killed in a special operations raid in Herat in October 2009, have been known to facilitate the movement of foreign fighters, or al Qaeda, from Iran into Afghanistan, and help them transit to the battlefields in Helmand and Kandahar.
Today’s suicide attack is the third in Afghanistan in four days. Yesterday, a suicide bomber killed at least 16 Afghans, including 10 policemen, in an attack in Kunduz City in the Afghan north. On Sept. 8, the Taliban claimed credit for an attack outside Camp Eggers, a large Coalition base in Kabul, that killed six Afghan children. The Taliban claimed that the suicide bomber targeted CIA personnel and killed “at least 5 high-level US secret agents.”
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.