Conflict & Justice

Taliban suicide bomber injures 45 in Afghanistan; US names soldier killed on Saturday


A flag is seen at the temporary marker for a mass grave in Section 60, an area largely used for those who died while serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery May 24, 2012 in Washington, DC, ahead of Memorial Day on May 28, 2012.


Brendan Smialowski

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber who slammed a truck into a NATO-Afghan army base today, injuring 45 Afghan soldiers.

The base in the province of Paktia came under “indirect fire” after the car bombing, Lt. Junior Grade Amy Hession told CNN.

Seven civilians were also hurt during the attack that happened in Zurmat district about an hour south of the capital, Kabul.

“The bomber detonated explosives right in front of a joint base shared by the Afghan army and foreign forces, wounding 45 soldiers,” Paktia deputy governor Gul Rahman Mangal told Reuters.

International troops are slowly leaving Afghanistan security to the 350,000-member Afghan security forces, with plans to depart by 2014.

More from GlobalPost: UK to pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan in 2013

That has led to increased Taliban attacks and sinking moral among local troops, Reuters reported.

According to NATO, attacks have killed more than 240 soldiers and 290 police officers in an average month this year.

On Saturday, two American officers died in an “insider attack” against an Afghan intelligence office, The Associated Press reported.

One of those Americans was 24-year-old Army soldier Brittany B. Gordon, the newspaper said.

Officials have not identified the other American killed – a CIA officer – in an attack that also claimed the lives of four Afghanis.

NATO called it an insider attack, blaming a member of the Afghanistan intelligence force, a claim the agency refuted, the AP said.

More from GlobalPost: Afghan government could collapse after 2014 withdrawal, report says

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