Four Americans Dead, 16 Wounded After Taliban Suicide Blast At Afghan Base

Four Americans Dead

Four Americans were killed Saturday and 16 more injured in a suicide attack on an American base in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a tweet praising the “strong attack” on Bagram Airfield, which is home to multiple nations’ forces that are part of the NATO mission to Afghanistan. One Polish soldier was injured in addition to the American troops killed and wounded Saturday.

In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a suicide bomber had targeted “a sports ground where more than 100 military officers, important people and soldiers were busy exercising.”

CNN reported a similar account, based on a NATO official who said the bomb was detonated in an area where soldiers were preparing for a run.

“An explosive device was detonated on Bagram Airfield resulting in multiple casualties. Four people have died in the attack and approximately 14 have been wounded,” said a NATO statement. “Response teams at Bagram continue to treat the wounded and investigate the incident.”

An Afghan police official told Al Jazeera “the person who got in with the explosives must be a dual citizen and someone who has an access pass and is trusted to go without escort.”

Defense Secretary Ash Carter offered condolences to the families of the dead service members.

“Force protection is always a top priority for us in Afghanistan, and we will investigate this tragedy to determine any steps we can take to improve it,” he said.

“For those who carried out this attack, my message is simple. We will not be deterred in our mission to protect our homeland and help Afghanistan secure its own future.”

Eleven Americans, including two CIA paramilitary officers, have been killed in Afghanistan since early October.

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