large Taliban truck bomb struck
the gate of a NATO combat
outpost in eastern Afghanistan
Saturday, killing two civilians and
injuring others, the coalition said.
No coalition forces were killed in
the attack on Combat Outpost
Sayed Abad in Wardak province, a
statement said. An Afghan official
earlier said there was at least one
NATO said none of the injuries
was life threatening. It did not say
how many people were injured in
the explosion, which came on the
eve of the 10th anniversary of the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against
the United States.
"Most of the force of the
explosion was absorbed by the
protective barrier at the outpost
entrance and though there were
a significant number of injuries,
all are being treated and none is
immediately life threatening,"
The attack was carried out by a
Taliban suicide bomber who
detonated a large bomb inside a
truck carrying firewood, NATO
The blast "damaged the
compound entrance and was not
followed-up by any subsequent
attacks. The impact to the
compound is readily repairable
and operations are continuing,"
The attack 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.
In a statement emailed to media,
the Taliban accused the United
States of using the Sept. 11
attacks as a pretext to invade
Afghanistan and said the
international community was
responsible for killing thousands
of Afghans during the invasion
and ensuing occupation.
"Each year, 9/11 reminds the
Afghans of an event in which they
had no role whatsoever," the
Taliban said. "American
colonialism has shed the blood of
tens of thousands of miserable
and innocent Afghans."
The United States and its allies
invaded Afghanistan on Oct. 7,
2001, after the Taliban, who then
ruled the country, refused to
hand over Osama bin Laden.
The late al-Qaida leader was at
the time living in Afghanistan,
where the terror network had
training camps from which it
planned attacks against the U.S.
and other countries.
"The Afghans have an endless
stamina for a long war," the
statement said. "Through a
countrywide uprising, the
Afghans will send the Americans
to the dustbin of history like they
sent other empires of the past."
The statement was issued by the
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,
the official title used by the
Taliban when they ruled the
Although the Taliban were swiftly
driven from power by the U.S.-led
coalition, they managed to use
the years of the Iraq war — when
America focused its military
strength on the conflict against
Saddam Hussein — to regroup,
rearm and reorganize.
They began winning back ground
lost to the international military
coalition until President Barack
Obama decided to send in 30,000
more troops last year to help.
Although there have been some
coalition gains in the Taliban's
traditional southern strongholds,
violence has not abated around
The U.S. has begun withdrawing
some of its 100,000 troops and
will send home 33,000 by the end
of next year. The international
military coalition has already
begun transferring security
responsibilities to newly trained
Afghan forces with the aim of
removing all their soldiers by the
end of 2014.
Bin Laden was killed in May in a
raid on his house in
northwestern Pakistan by
helicopter-borne U.S. Navy SEALs.
In another development, NATO
and Afghan forces arrested a
former inmate at the U.S. military
prison at Guantanamo Bay.
A tribal elder said Said Amir Jan
was arrested during the same
raid in which another former
Guantanamo detainee was killed
a week ago in the eastern city of
Jalalabad. But word of his arrest
only emerged Saturday.
Jan, 30, was suspected of being a
"low-level member of al-Qaida"
before he was sent to
Guantanamo in 2003, according
to his military file, made public by
He was assessed as medium risk
in 2005 by military officials and
sent back to Afghanistan in 2007.
The man killed in the raid was
Sabar Lal Melma. Soldiers shot him
after he confronted them with an
NATO and Afghan officials have
not commented on the identities
of anyone arrested in the Sept. 2
But tribal elder Rohullah Wakil, a
friend of the slain man and
himself a former Guantanamo
detainee, said Saturday that Jan
and two other people — Melma's
cousin and a man named Dairan
— were arrested.
NATO raided Melma's house
because he was suspected of
organizing attacks in eastern
Kunar province and funding
insurgent operations after he
was released from Guantanamo
NATO officials described Melma as
a key al-Qaida ally.