Suicide bombing attack hit a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan Wednesday, two US servicemen are killed just a day after 29 worshippers died when attackers opened fire in a mosque
03 Aug 2017, 12:10 ( 13 days ago) | updated: 03 Aug 2017, 12:21 ( 13 days ago)
A suicide bombing attack on a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan left two American service members dead, a Pentagon spokesman said.Navy Capt Jeff Davis confirmed the casualties in the attack near Kandahar city on Wednesday. The Pentagon's decision to release the figures seemed to contradict orders issued two months ago by Army Gen John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, barring information about US combat deaths until days after the incident.US military officials in Afghanistan refused to give any information about the casualties, even after the Pentagon released the casualty figures. There was no information on the number of troops wounded. Nicholson's orders stifling information from the US military in Afghanistan was met with opposition from within the Pentagon, where officials reportedly tried to resolve the impasse.
However, the decision by the Pentagon to release Wednesday's casualty figures would seem to indicate that the issue has gone unresolved two months into the order.Nicholson said the reason for the delay was to allow time for notification of family. Yet it upends Pentagon practice since the Vietnam era, and gives the public less information and transparency into a war that has raged for 16 years, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries.The Taliban quickly took responsibility for the attack, and a spokesman for the insurgents said the bombing allegedly killed 15 soldiers but the Taliban routinely exaggerate their gains and casualty figures. The attack in southern Kandahar came as thousands of demonstrators in the western city of Herat transported 31 bodies, the victims of a horrific suicide attack on a Shiite mosque a day earlier, to the residence of the provincial governor.
Protesters were outraged at the audacity of Tuesday evening's attack, barely 150 feet from a police station. The suicide bomber first sprayed gunfire at the private guards, who were protecting the mosque before running inside firing until his rifle jammed, said witnesses. He then detonated the explosives strapped to his body.The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan took responsibility for the attack saying they had deployed two suicide bombers. Witnesses reported a second explosion 10 minutes after the first bomber blew himself up. The UN Security Council condemned 'the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack' in Herat 'in the strongest terms'. In a statement late Wednesday, council members underlined the need 'to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.'The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan on Monday had warned it would strike Shiites after taking credit for an attack on the Iraq Embassy in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul. The Sunni militant group considers Shiite Muslims as apostates.Tuesday's attack in Herat targeting Afghanistan's minority Shiites, just a day after the Kabul attack, has frightened Shiites and put further pressure on the Afghan government that is increasingly seen to be impotent to stop the violence.Also on Wednesday the Taliban ambushed and killed Jaghatu District Gov. Manzur Hussain and a passenger in his car, Ghazni provincial police chief Mohammad Mustafa Mayar said.(mailonline)