Reports: Taliban Suicide Bombing Hit CIA Nerve Center
VOA News 01 January 2010
U.S. media are reporting that the U.S. base targeted in this week's suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan was responsible for gathering intelligence along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
News outlets quote former U.S. intelligence officials, who did not want to be identified, as saying the base in Khost province, called Forward Operating Base Chapman, was also overseeing efforts to kill top militant leaders, often with the use of drones.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency confirmed Wednesday's suicide bombing killed seven of its employees and wounded six others, but the CIA provided no other details. The Tailban claimed responsibility for the attack.
U.S. intelligence officers say it appears that the suicide bomber, a man wearing an Afghan army uniform, was being courted as an informant, and may not have been searched.
In other news, officials say two French journalists who were kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan earlier this week are alive and in good health.
Paul Nahon of public broadcaster France Television said Friday the two journalists were reportedly in good condition after being captured Wednesday by suspected militants while traveling through Kapisa province. The fate of at least two Afghan employees traveling with the journalists was not known.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday to offer his condolences, after four Canadian soldiers and a journalist were killed in a roadside bombing near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar this past Wednesday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Prime Minister Harper's spokesman says President Karzai wanted to share his sympathies with the victims' families and with all Canadians.
In violence Friday, an official in Afghanistan's northern Badghis province said five people, including two women, died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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