Clash near U.S. base kills 12 militants in Afghanistan
At least 12 insurgents are dead after an attempted attack on a U.S. combat base along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border overnight Saturday, U.S. military and Afghan officials said Sunday.
Two American soldiers and two Afghan troops were wounded in the attack, officials said. One of the Afghans was medically evacuated for treatment at a U.S. military hospital, but the other three were treated at the scene and returned to duty.
According to the U.S. military command in Afghanistan, the clash occurred when militants gathered to attack Fire Base Tillman in Paktika province.
American and Afghan troops “called in aviation support and indirect artillery fire to support the defense of the fire base,” a news release read.
“As the continued efforts of the military and civil leaders on both sides of the border takes a toll on (the) insurgents’ freedom of movement, they will continue to become more desperate as the people work with the military and other leaders to rid themselves of these criminals,” Army Maj. Donald A. Korpi, a spokesman for Task Force Fury, which operates in the area, was quoted as saying.
While direct attacks by insurgents in Afghanistan are not common, there have been instances in the past year in which large numbers of suspected Taliban militants stage assaults on U.S. and Afghan bases.
With winter ending, U.S. and NATO military analysts expect the fighting to pick up.