May 23, 2010

Insurgents Attack Afghanistan Base

By Sean D. Naylor - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday May 22, 2010

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - Coalition forces repelled an insurgent attack on this airfield on Saturday evening that wounded a small number of personnel, a Coalition spokeswoman said.
The attack began at about 8 p.m. local time when insurgents launched a barrage of five rockets at the air field, said Navy Cmdr. Amanda Peterseim, spokeswoman for Regional Command-South, which is headquartered at the air field. One of those rockets hit near the boardwalk, the collection of stores and coffee shops which forms the social hub at the air field, and is often crowded in the evenings. That rocket wounded "a few" personnel, but did not kill any, Peterseim said.
"Shortly after, the rockets landed, we started hearing the announcement that we were under ground attack," Peterseim said. That ground attack involved "just a few insurgents" attacking a guard tower on the airfield’s north side and was "repelled" with no casualties on the Coalition side, she said. "There's been no breach of the perimeter," she said.
Peterseim said she did not know the status of the insurgents who attacked the base.
The attack prompted non-stop sirens and loudspeaker announcements on the base, which is the second largest Coalition installation. "KAF is under ground attack! Seek shelter in place!" was the message broadcast repeated over the loudspeakers for at least three hours following the first rockets landing.

Soldiers with 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment of the 5th Stryker Brigade, keep their eyes in the direction of two Taliban fighters near Kandahar Air Field. The base was attacked Saturday at 8 p.m.

 Peterseim said she believed that the attack had shut the air field down. Asked whether the air field was on lock down, she replied: "We've been asked to take shelter in place.
The attack comes fewer than four days after an insurgent attack against Bagram air field, the Coalition's largest base in Afghanistan. That attack also combined rocket attacks with a ground assault, but Peterseim said that the attack on Kandahar air field "was not of the intensity" of the attack on Bagram.
As of 11 p.m. loudspeakers here were still announcing that the air field was "under ground attack."

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