Central & South Asia
Taliban fighters attack US base in Kandahar
Gunmen killed after four-hour siege at US-run base where provincial governor was meeting NATO commanders.
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2011 19:08
Afghan police cordoned off the area as they fought the attackers for four hours [AFP]

Afghan and coalition forces have killed the gunmen who attacked a US-run base in southern Afghanistan, ending a four-hour siege, according to police officials and the Afghan interior ministry.

A group of "three to four" armed men, possibly wearing suicide vests, had taken up positions in an empty compound in Kandahar that was once used by the USAID development agency and were firing rockets on the US base, police said on Wednesday.

Police entered the three-storey building and killed the attackers four hours after the firing began, at around 2:45pm local time, Kandahar police spokesman Ghorzang, who goes by one name, said.

Five explosions were earlier heard at the base, and a sixth huge explosion later rocked the area near the base, throwing huge plumes of smoke into the sky.

"One American civilian contractor and two Afghan security guards were injured, one Afghan interpreter was killed, and five ISAF service members were slightly wounded as a result of the attack," the US-led NATO coalition said in a statement.

The target of the attack, which the Taliban have claimed responsibility for, was a security meeting at the base attended by the Kandahar provincial governor, security officials and commanders from NATO's International Security Assistance Force, a senior police official told the AFP news agency.

None of the officials were hurt in the attack.

Violent day

Two other attacks were also launched in Kandahar on Thursday.


A suicide bomber targeted a coalition base in Panjwai district, detonating a vehicle containing an improvised explosive device outside the perimeter of the base.

There were no ISAF casualties and the perimeter was not breached, ISAF said.

And in the western district of Zhari, armed fighters attacked a NATO fuel tanker, killing the driver and setting the vehicle on fire, said district governor Nyaz Mohammad Sarhadi

Kandahar, 480km south of the capital Kabul, is the birthplace of the Taliban, and their current stronghold in the country.

Despite the presence of more than 130,000 foreign troops, violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since the start of the war 10 years ago, according to the United Nations.

In August, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 22 people in an attack on the Parwan provincial governor's compound, and in September fighters launched a 20-hour assault on the US embassy in Kabul, killing more than a dozen people.

Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.