77 Americans wounded in Afghan truck bombing
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Nearly 80 American soldiers were wounded and two Afghan civilians were killed in a Taliban truck bombing targeting an American base in eastern Afghanistan, NATO said Sunday, a stark reminder that the war in Afghanistan still rages 10 years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks against the United States.
The blast, which occurred late Saturday, shaved the facades from shops outside the Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in Wardak province and broke windows in government offices nearby, said Roshana Wardak, a former parliamentarian who runs a clinic in the nearby town of the same name. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Eight wounded civilians were brought to Wardak's clinic, two of them with wounds serious enough that they were sent to Kabul. She said one 3-year-old girl died of her wounds on the way to the clinic.
The attack was carried out by a Taliban suicide bomber who detonated a large bomb inside a truck carrying firewood, NATO said. It was unclear how many foreign and Afghan soldiers were serving on the base.
"Most of the force of the explosion was absorbed by the protective barrier at the outpost entrance," NATO said, adding that the damage was repairable and that operations were continuing.
Fewer than 25 Afghan civilians were also wounded, NATO said, adding that none of the 77 injuries sustained by the Americans were life-threatening. Spokesman Maj. Russell Fox said Sunday that all the international troops at the combat outpost are American.
The truck bombing came hours after the Taliban vowed to keep fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan until all American troops leave the country and stressed that their movement had no role in the Sept. 11 attacks.
On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul held a memorial service to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. A military band played as American troops raised an American flag in front of about 300 assembled U.S. and Afghan officials.
Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan urged those assembled to honor the memory of those who died.
"On that day we lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters we lost people of many nations and many religions, today we remember, we honor them all," he said.
The Afghan Foreign Minister said the attacks bound Afghans and Americans together in a "shared struggle."
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