Afghanistan: Deadliest attack on US forces
Eight American troops and two Afghan soldiers died in Saturday's attack on two remote outposts in Afghanistan. More pressure for a US strategy shift?
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In the deadliest fight for coalition forces in Afghanistan in more than a year, Taliban militants attacked two remote American and Afghan military outposts Saturday, killing eight US soldiers and two Afghan soldiers.
The American troops stationed at the outposts were scheduled to leave the remote area as part of a new US strategy to concentrate forces in more populated areas.
The Washington Post reports that the militants were members of a Taliban group, probably Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, that included Pakistani, Uzbek, and Arab fighters. The attack began on Saturday morning and continued all day as an estimated 300 fighters came from a nearby mosque and village and attacked the coalition outposts using rifles, machine guns, grenades, and rockets.
The US military said the troops eventually repelled the attack, "inflicting high enemy casualties," after calling in helicopter and plane support. By Sunday morning, a military spokeswoman said the area was "largely secure but I do think there is still some activity," reports the Post. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack.
The New York Times reports that 11 Afghan police officers were also kidnapped in the attack, which took place in the eastern part of the province, which borders Pakistan. (See a map of the region here)
This is not the first serious attack in this area; in July 2008, nine US soldiers died in a similar attack on a small outpost in Wanat in an attack the Times calls the "Black Hawk Down" of Afghanistan.