Taliban claim Afghanistan truck bomb attack that wounded 77 US troops
The claim adds to a series of mixed messages that are complicating the Taliban's efforts to become an accepted, legitimate political force in Afghanistan's government.
A truck bomb that detonated Saturday at a US base in Afghanistan wounded 77 American troops and killed two Afghan civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and released a message marking the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 claiming Afghans had “no role whatsoever” in the twin-tower attacks.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Much of today’s Taliban insurgency had little to no role in the former Taliban government that hosted Al Qaeda, creating hopes that some Taliban could enter a negotiated settlement that would cut all ties with Al Qaeda and other global jihadists. But the Taliban have sent mixed messages, some designed to rally their fighters, others with an eye toward engaging in a political process.
On the tenth anniversary weekend of 9/11, the Taliban went more with rallying cries than political overtures.
“Taliban propagandists who are trying to sustain their own war effort try to imply that the real reason for international intervention in Afghanistan was Western reluctance to tolerate a ‘true Islamic’ regime. This forces them into the kind of 9/11 denial which pretty much renders them beyond the pale for any Americans considering dealing with them,” says Michael Semple, a Harvard University fellow and an informal mediator in the peace talks.
“If the Taliban expect to be taken seriously as a political force they will have to move beyond that narrative,” he adds.
Unusually high number of injuries
News of the unusually high numbers of injuries in Saturday’s attack only emerged today. None of the injuries is immediately life threatening, according to a press release from the NATO-led international force.
A Taliban suicide bomber drove the large bomb in a truck carrying firewood and detonated the explosives at the entrance to Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in Wardak Province south of the Afghan capital, Kabul. The blast barriers at the base’s entranced absorbed much of the bomb’s force, NATO said.