Skip to main content

4 Americans killed at U.S. base in Afghanistan; Taliban claim responsibility

From Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
updated 12:42 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The Taliban claim responsibility for the attack
  • ISAF says four NATO coalition service members have been killed
  • ISAF did not disclose the nationality of those killed
  • A Pentagon official says the attack happened at Bagram Air Base

(CNN) -- Four Americans were killed during a rocket attack at Bagram Air Base, outside of Kabul, a Pentagon official said Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed that four NATO coalition service members had been killed in an attack but did not disclose the nationality of the casualties or the exact location of the attack.

ISAF said the four were killed in an "attack in eastern Afghanistan."

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the group said in a statement.

News of the casualties came as NATO-led troops transferred security responsibility to Afghan forces.

Security handed over to Afghan forces
Afghan government takes over security
Inside a firefight with the Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he welcomes the U.S. troop withdrawal and insists his army can defend the country against the Taliban.

"It is exactly our job to deal with it, and we are capable of dealing with it," Karzai told CNN's Christiane Amanpour earlier this year.

Even so, there are concerns about the abilities of Afghan security forces to deal with the Taliban and other militant groups.

The Taliban continue to carry out high-profile attacks in the capital, Kabul, even targeting the Afghan Supreme Court during a suicide attack in June. Another strike targeted a building near Kabul International Airport.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber attacked the convoy of Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, a member of parliament, killing three people and wounding 21 others. Three bodyguards were among the injured. Mohaqiq -- a Shiite and an ethnic Hazara -- is a member of Afghanistan's political opposition.

American forces, now at about 66,000, are expected to drop to 32,000 by the end of the year.

The plan is to withdraw all combat troops but keep a residual force in the country to help train Afghan forces and carry out counterterrorism operations when needed.

The size of that force is still being discussed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT