NATO bases attacked in Kandahar

KANDAHAR: Taliban insurgents struck Afghan and NATO bases in the restive province of Kandahar on Tuesday, after a coalition soldier was killed by attackers in police uniforms. Seven suicide attackers stormed a joint Afghan-NATO base in Shah Wali Kot district at around 3:30 am (2300 GMT Monday), sparking a 30-minute gun battle that left all the insurgents dead, Kandahar governor spokesman Jawed Faisal said. NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the attackers breached the outer perimeter of the base but said no coalition soldiers were killed in the incident. Hours later, four gunmen wearing police uniforms struck a police and NATO base in Kandahar city, triggering a fight in which three officers and all the attackers were killed, provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told. Police witnesses said the attackers were sporting all the uniform and equipment a regular officer would have, and were led into the base by a police captain, who fled afterwards. Two other officers were arrested over the attack. Tuesday’s attacks came a day after men wearing Afghan police uniforms opened fire on NATO soldiers in Kandahar, killing one before fleeing. The attack brought to 23 the number of Western troops killed in 17 so-called “green-on-blue” incidents in the war-torn country so far this year. “The International Security Assistance Force confirms that three individuals in Afghan police uniforms turned their weapons against coalition service members in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one ISAF service member,” the alliance said in a statement. A police official in Zhary district said the dead soldier was American, but there was no immediate confirmation of this. ISAF gave no further details of the incident or the soldiers’ nationalities, though the majority of coalition forces in Kandahar are American.