[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Afghan rockets hit US army chief's plane
Attack at Bagram airbase did not injure Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking US military officer, spokesman says.
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2012 14:41
Dempsey was visiting Afghanistan to discuss deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers on their US colleagues [EPA]

Rocket fire that struck a US base in Afghanistan on Monday night has damaged the aircraft of the top-ranking US military officer and injured two members of the maintenance crew.

Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, was not near the aircraft at the time of the attack and no one was injured, Jamie Graybeal, NATO spokesman, said.

Colonel Dave Lapan, Dempsey's spokesman, said on Tuesday that two rockets struck Bagram airbase, outside the capital Kabul, and one damaged Dempsey's C-17, a large transport aircraft.

Shrapnel from the rocket struck the door of the C-17 and left two crew members with minor injuries.

Our complete Afghanistan coverage

The attack posed no threat to the safety of Dempsey or his staff, who were asleep in their quarters at the time of the incident, officers said.

Although sporadic shelling of Bagram is not uncommon, Taliban fighters rarely manage to inflict serious damage or casualties at the base.

Dempsey left by Tuesday morning, though it was unclear if he left on the same aircraft.

He had been visiting Kabul to meet commanders of the coalition force and Afghan officers amid a surge in assaults by Afghan security personnel on their international colleagues.

Ten soldiers, mostly Americans, have lost their lives at the hands of their Afghan allies in the past two weeks, and the attacks have caused almost one in every four coalition deaths in the war so far this month.

NATO and American officers have suggested the Afghan government has failed  to come to grips with the problem but Dempsey said he came away "reassured" after discussions with his Afghan counterpart, General Shir Mohammad Karimi.

"I am reassured that the Afghan leaders, military and civilian, understand how important this moment is," Dempsey said.

306

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list