Conflict & Justice

Taliban truck bombing wounds 77 US troops (VIDEO)

The 77 NATO soldiers wounded in a Taliban truck bombing at a coalition base in Afghanistan are all American troops, according to news reports.

In an attack that carried symbolic weight, coming on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the massive Taliban truck bomb also killed five Afghans, among them an 8-year-old girl, Western and Afghan officials said Sunday.

Writes the LA Times:

The Taliban said in a statement that a "martyrdom-seeking" attacker blew up a truck packed with explosives just outside the base. The group, which often exaggerates the effectiveness of its attacks, claimed that as many as 50 U.S. troops were killed.

However, none of the soldiers' wounds were life-threatening as "protective barriers … absorbed most of the explosion" at the outpost, a spokeswoman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told CNN. The troops were expected to return to duties "shortly."

The LA Times reports that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack Saturday evening in Sayedabad district in the restive Wardak Province, where insurgents last month shot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter, killing 30 American troops.

Most of the troops were Navy SEALs, including some from the unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden.

(GlobalPost reports: Taliban rocket downs helicopter, killing elite soldiers)

"This attack was a high-profile attack. It was a pretty significant suicide vehicle bomb," Gen. John R. Allen, commander of coalition and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told CNN on Sunday.