Insurgents Attack Near Kandahar Airfield
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2012 Insurgents detonated a vehicle bomb today near Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta visited the base earlier in the day. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, who is traveling with Panetta, issued a statement confirming the attack.
International Security Assistance Force officials are on the scene collecting facts and assessing the situation, Little said.
“I have no information at this time that this incident was associated with the visit of the secretary of defense,” Little said, adding that the attack occurred after Panetta had returned to the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Panetta responded to questions about the attack during an evening press conference with Karzai in Kabul.
“With regards to the vehicle IED attack at Kandahar, my understanding is that that was the type of attack we’ve seen throughout the country,” Panetta told reporters. “A car went up against an MRAP and as a result of that there were lives that were lost and we regret those lives being lost.
“But the whole point is that this is the kind of attack they resort to when in fact the Afghan army, the Afghan police are working to secure large populated areas,” the defense secretary continued. “This is what they resort to in order to try to continue to stimulate chaos in this country. They will not be successful in doing that.”
Panetta and Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, International Security Assistance Force commander and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, confirmed during the press conference that one U.S. service member died in the attack and that three service members and several Afghans were wounded.