Tags: bagram | attack | taliban | kerry | visit

Bagram Attack by Taliban After Kerry Visit Called 'Ineffective'

Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 11:28 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The U.S.-controlled Bagram airfield, the busiest and one of the biggest in Afghanistan, was attacked by Taliban fighters with multiple rockets on Sunday. The attack came a day after Secretary of State John Kerry left the country.

A spokesman for the International Security Force of Afghanistan told NBC News that the attacked largely failed.

"(The) attack was ineffective and there were no casualties or damage to property reported," said spokesman Peter Bedean, according to NBC News. "The International Security Assistance Force engaged the enemy with a precision strike and killed one enemy combatant."

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Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told NBC News in an email that his forces "destroyed an aircraft and other electronic stuff as well as damaging the base."

The incident came less than a day after Kerry left a meeting with Afghani President Hamid Karzai in an unannounced visit.

NBC News reported that Kerry came to negotiate a security agreement with Karzai, which would sketch out the proposed U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal. The deadline for finalizing the agreement was approaching, said NBC.

"Secretary Kerry sees an opening to continue making headway on issues including security and sovereignty this evening and wants to leave Kabul with as many issues resolved as possible to set up conditions for finalizing an agreement," U.S. officials told NBC News about the Afghanistan trip.

NBC News said the deal could keep as many as 10,000 U.S. troops in the country after 2014.

Bagram has been attacked numerous times before. In July, two targeted roadside bomb explosions left three Air Force personnel wounded, according to U.S. News and World Report.

In that incident, the first roadside explosion took place just south of this airfield, accounting for all three injuries while crippling an armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicle the troops used.

The second attack, also on an MRAP, occurred later but did not hurt anyone.

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In September 2012, the Associated Press reported that Afghan insurgents bombarded the base and destroyed a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees. The bombing and the strike at Bagram then came as U.S. and its allied military forces marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001.

Related stories:

Two U.S. Generals Fired for Failing to Stave Off Afghan Attack

Taliban Attack US Consulate in Western Afghan City

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