ISAF tightens security at Kandahar Airfield after insurgent attack

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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The International Security Assistance Force is assessing a brazen nighttime insurgent attack on Kandahar Airfield that injured civilians and military personnel.
At least five rockets and mortars were fired at the sprawling airbase, NATO's largest military installation in southern Afghanistan, as insurgents tried to breach the northern perimeter Saturday night.
Security was stepped up on the heavily fortified base Sunday, with additional NATO personnel in flak vests with guns in hand patrolling the airfield.
Squadron Leader Paul Scott, a spokesman for ISAF, said officials were still investigating the attack and could not say how many insurgents were involved.
ISAF said the insurgents failed to get into the base during their four-hour assault, and no one was killed, but some civilians and members of NATO military forces were wounded.
ISAF has not released the number of injured or their nationalities. There is no word whether there were any Canadian casualties - the Canadian Forces does not release information about wounded troops.
Rocket attacks on the airfield are not unusual. However, ground attacks like the one Saturday night have been very rare.
For security reasons, journalists at Kandahar Airfield are prevented from reporting where the rockets landed as part of their embedment agreement with the military.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, the third major assault on NATO's military hubs in Afghanistan in six days.
On Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul, killing 18 people including Col. Geoff Parker, the highest-ranking Canadian soldier to die in the Afghan mission to date. Five U.S. servicemen also died.
The following day, dozens of Taliban militants attacked the main U.S. military base - Bagram Airfield - killing an American contractor in fighting that lasted more than eight hours. Nine others were wounded.
The Kandahar base, long the Canadian military's main base in Afghanistan, has grown to the size of a small city. It has become the launching pad for additional U.S. forces pouring into the country for a summer surge against the Taliban.
The attack Saturday came two weeks after the Taliban announced a spring offensive against NATO forces and Afghan government troops - their response to a promise by U.S. President Barrack Obama to flush the Taliban out of their strongholds in Kandahar province.

Organizations: NATO, Taliban, Canadian Forces

Geographic location: U.S., Southern Afghanistan, Afghanistan Kandahar Kabul

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