Taliban kills 6 coalition troops in suicide attack at Bagram

The Taliban killed six coalition soldiers in a suicide attack today that targeted a convoy in Bagram, the largest NATO base in Afghanistan. Resolute Support, the NATO mission in Afghanistan, confirmed the deaths of the six soldiers in a statement that was released today.

“Six Resolute Support service members died as a result of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in Bagram, Afghanistan on December 21 at approximately 1:30 pm,” Resolute Support said in a press release received by The Long War Journal. “Additionally, three Resolute Support members were injured in the attack.”

The nationalities of the soldiers who were killed and wounded was not disclosed as “it is Resolute Support policy to defer casualty identification to the relevant national authorities.” US forces make up the vast majority of the troops based at Bagram.

The Taliban confirmed it carried out the suicide car bombing, and claimed that “at least 19 US aggressors were killed” in the attack. The Taliban routinely exaggerate the effects of its operations. The attack was carried out by “Zahidullah, a fearless Mujahid part of the martyr unit of the Islamic Emirate,” according to a statement released on Voice of Jihad. One such Taliban suicide assault team, known as the Muaskar ul Fida, is operated by the Haqqani Network.

Bagram is a high priority target for the Taliban. The base is the largest in Afghanistan. The US plans on keeping an estimated 5,500 troops split up between bases at Bagram, Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar into 2016.

The Taliban and its jihadist allies have conducted multiple high profile attacks at Bagram over the past decade. In one of the more significant attacks, the Taliban – in conjunction with al Qaeda, the Haqqani Network, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan – launched a complex suicide assault on the airbase in May 2010. Bekkay Harrach, a senior al Qaeda leader from Germany, was among those killed during the assault.

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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