Anti-Islam film, Prince Harry motivated deadly Taliban attack in Afghanistan: 2 US Marines killed


U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait for helicopter transport in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, on August 9, 2011.


Manpreet Romana

The Taliban today took responsibility for overnight attack on a coalition base in Afghanistan that killed at least two US Marines, claiming the violence was in response to US-made anti-Islam footage that has angered Muslim communities worldwide and because it is the base used by Taliban target Prince Harry, said the Associated Press

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The attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province took place late Friday night, said BBC News, citing a local governor as saying over a dozen militants were killed alongside the two US Marines as coalition forces clashed with armed insurgents. It was not immediately clear how many people died in the assault. 

"We attacked that base because Prince Harry was also on it and so they can know our anger," Taliban spokesman Qari Youssef Ahmadi told AP today, adding to Reuters that the "aim of this attack was revenge against Americans for the anti-Prophet movie."

Camp Bastion is one of the largest, most heavily-protected military bases in the country, said BBC, adding "serious questions will be asked about how militants were able to stage the brazen surprise assault." 

The Taliban earlier said it was on a mission to kill the British crown Prince, who last week began a four-month deployment in the dangerous province.

NATO told Reuters the helicopter-pilot prince, the third in line to the throne, was "never in any danger" despite being on the camp at the time of the assault. 

The sprawling base is used by a number of countries, but Friday's attack targeted the US compound, Camp Leatherneck, said BBC, most likely to highlight the Taliban's anger over the US-made anti-Islam footage that sparked protests worldwide on Friday. 

The Afghan government has blocked online footage of the offending video. 

The US has upped its military presence abroad in response to the wave of anti-American protests, which were sparked by a Tuesday attack in Libya that killed the US ambassador and three others.

Follow GlobalPost's live coverage of the unrest here