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16 NATO Soldiers & Personnel, Including 9 Americans Killed in a Kabul Taliban Attack

October 30, 2011

Western diplomat: 9 Americans among Kabul suicide blast victims

From Nick Paton Walsh,

CNN updated 3:55 PM EST,

Sun October 30, 2011

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) --

Nine Americans, including four U.S. troops, were among those killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's capital this weekend, a western diplomat told CNN Sunday.

Saturday's blast -- which also claimed the lives of two British civilians, a Kosovo national and a Canadian soldier -- occurred when a car packed with explosives struck an armored bus in a NATO convoy, the diplomat said.

Confusion over casualties arose because some people on board the bus were not listed on its passenger manifest, the diplomat said.

Afghan officials said four Afghans, including two students, were also killed.

A senior NATO official described the bus as a custom-built, heavily armored Rhino.

Canadian Master Cpl. Byron Greff was among the dead, according to the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command.

Authorities have not released identities of the other victims. A diplomatic source said the two British citizens who were killed were civilian contractors working for ISAF.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai offered his sympathies at a national security meeting Sunday.

"Afghan people are grieved by the NATO loss of lives and share the pain and sorrow with the families and friends of the troops killed," he said.

A Taliban spokesman confirmed Saturday's attack in a text message, saying it killed "16 foreign soldiers, one civilian" and injured many others.

Taliban casualty counts are often inflated; there was no other reliable indication 16 foreigners were killed.

It was unclear how many people were wounded, said Sediq Sediqqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul expressed condolences to families and said it will continue the victims' "dedicated work on behalf of peace in this country and region."

"It's a shock. It makes you mad. It makes me angry," said U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. "We are not going to let these guys win."

The attack was one of several targeting NATO-led forces Saturday.

About 27 people were killed in clashes between troops and suspected insurgents in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, ISAF said in a statement.

Attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at coalition troops who were assisting Afghan forces at the site of a land dispute, the statement said. No ISAF forces were injured or killed, the statement said.

The fighting erupted after the Taliban convinced members of a tribe that they should attack a convoy carrying government officials to reclaim their land, said Haji Lewani, a tribal elder in the province. About 20 Taliban insurgents and seven tribesmen were among the dead, he said.

Also Saturday, a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform turned his weapon on coalition forces during training, killing three and wounding several others, ISAF said. The shooter was killed in the incident in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition did not provide any other details about the shooting, and did not disclose the nationalities of those killed.

Nearly 2,800 troops from the United States and its partners have died during 10 years of war in Afghanistan, according to a CNN count.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr and journalist Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed to this report.

Two Britons dead in Kabul attack

BBC, 30 October 2011 Last updated at 16:26 ET

Two British contractors were among 13 members of the Nato-led force killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan on Saturday, the Foreign Office has said.

A Taliban suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a Nato bus carrying members of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul.

The Isaf forces and civilian staff were initially thought to be all American.

The Britons were identified after their US employer Fluor Corp contacted the UK embassy to report them missing.

The body of one of the Britons has already been repatriated to Britain, while the second person had been living in the US and his remains would be returned there, sources told the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul.

Fluor Corp later confirmed the deaths, but said that out of respect for their families their names would not be released.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and loved ones of our co-workers. Right now, our focus is on helping them deal with the situation," a spokesman for the Texas-based engineering and construction company said.

The Foreign Office did not release any details on the pair either.

"Our thoughts are with the families of all who died: Isaf personnel and contractors; Afghan forces and civilians," the Foreign Office said.

"Consular staff in Kabul are in close touch with the employer of the deceased. We stand ready to provide any consular assistance needed to their families."

The Pentagon had initially said all the Isaf personnel were American, but Canada then confirmed that one was Canadian.

Three Afghan civilians and a police officer were also killed.

It is estimated that more than 2,000 British people work as private contractors in Afghanistan - the bulk of them security contractors.

The attack happened near Darulaman Palace, the bombed-out seat of Afghanistan's former kings on the south-west outskirts of the capital.

The suicide attacker driving a red Toyota Corolla detonated the bomb just as the armoured bus was passing at 11:20 (06:50 GMT on Saturday). The bus was blown over by the force of the explosion.

There has been an increase in militant attacks across Afghanistan in recent months, despite the presence of more than 130,000 foreign troops.

The Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Kabul.

In its most recent travel advice it said the threat from terrorism was considered high, and an increase in attacks was expected, particularly on foreign and Afghan national interests, as "insurgents attempt to destabilise the ongoing transition of security to Afghan National Security Forces".

Saturday's attack was the deadliest on foreign forces since the Taliban killed 30 US forces in August by shooting down a helicopter.


NATO troops, Afghans killed in Kabul suicide attack


A Taliban suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy in Kabul on Saturday, killing 13 foreign troops, three Afghan civilians and a policeman in the worst single Taliban ground attack of the 10-year-long Afghan war.

By News Wires (text)

REUTERS - A suicide car bomber killed 13 foreign troops in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, the deadliest single ground attack in 10 years of war in Afghanistan.

"We can confirm that 13 International Security Assistance Force members have died," said a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), giving no further details.


Earlier, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said three civilians and a police officer had been killed in the attack.


Excluding helicopter crashes, it was the deadliest single incident for foreign troops since the war began in 2001.


Lethal attacks are relatively rare in heavily guarded Kabul, compared with the south and east of Afghanistan, but Saturday's killings came less than two months after insurgents launched a 20-hour assault on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.


The assault on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) convoy took place in the Darulaman area in the west of the city, near the national museum.


The former royal palace, now in ruins, is also in the area, along with several government departments, and Afghan and foreign military bases.


The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they packed a four-wheel-drive vehicle with 700 kg of explosives.


Also on Saturday, three Australians and an Afghan linguist were killed in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan when an attacker wearing an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire on them, authorities in neighbouring Kandahar province said.


Violence across Afghanistan is at its worst since the start of the war 10 years ago, according to the United Nations, despite the presence of more than 130,000 foreign troops.


ISAF says there has recently been a fall in attacks by insurgents but this data excludes attacks that kill only civilians and attacks on Afghan security forces operating without international troops.


On Thursday, insurgents armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked two bases used by foreign troops in southern Afghanistan. An Afghan interpreter working for ISAF was killed in that attack, which stretched into Friday before the last of the four insurgents were killed.


There has been a series of high-profile assassinations, as well as day-to-day attacks by Taliban raiders, over the past year.


More than a dozen people were killed in the September attack on the U.S. embassy and ISAF headquarters.

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