Foreign and Afghan troops repelled attacks on two bases in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, with the Taliban saying suicide bombers were among 30 of its fighters who launched the raids.
The attacks targeted the U.S. military's Forward Operating Base Chapman and at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province near the eastern border with Pakistan.
More than 2,000 foreign troops have been killed, most of them Americans, since the conflict began.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said air support was called in after the bases came under from arms and rockets or mortar rounds early on Saturday. There have been several similar attacks against foreign military bases and Afghan government buildings in the east in the past year.
"ISAF ground forces, supported by combat aviation assets, killed at least 10 insurgents, captured several more and destroyed one recoilless rifle," ISAF said in a statement.
NATO Helicopter hit
The Taliban also claimed that they had downed a Nato helicopter during the standoff. Nato confirmed that a helicopter was hit by the Taliban, but said it has landed safely in camp Salerno.
Seven Central Intelligence Agency officers were killed by a suicide bomber inside Chapman last December, the second-most deadly attack in CIA history.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said 30 fighters had attacked the bases. They included suicide bombers and others armed with rockets and machine guns, Mujahid told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
He said about 20 of the fighters had been sent against the Salerno base.
Khost police chief Abdul Hakim Ishaaqzai said the bodies of 14 fighters were found near the two bases. He said two vehicles packed with ammunition and explosives were seized.
Although ISAF said the attacks had been repelled, residents said intermittent shooting and explosions could still be heard. Ishaaqzai said two civilians were also killed.
A report by the Afghanistan Rights Monitor said nearly 1,100 civilians were killed in the first half of 2010 in NATO attacks.
WikiLeaks unveiled reports of U.S. army that shows thousands of unreported civilian deaths in the near nine-year-old war.
ISAF said its forces had mistakenly killed two private security contractors after one of its patrols came under fire from fighters in an attack in Wardak province, west of the capital.
A car approached the patrol at speed on a highway in the Maidan Shahr district of Wardak on Friday and men could be seen shooting out of the vehicle's windows, ISAF said in a statement.
The patrol fired on the vehicle, killing two people inside later identified as private security contractors.
The suicide attack on Forward Operating Base Chapman on Dec. 30 last year highlighted the Taliban’s insurgency against what many Afghan says “oocupation” reach and coordination, particularly in their strongholds in the south and east.
Taliban launched a similar attack this month on the main foreign base in southern Kandahar province.
ReutersLast Mod: 28 Ağustos 2010, 12:48