A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked an advance NATO combat post in central Afghanistan, wounding 89 people including 50 American soldiers, the United States Army said on Sunday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility on their Internet site for Saturday’s attack, news of which came as the world marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in the United States.
US Army spokesman Major David Eastburn said 50 American soldiers and 15 Afghans were among the injured. It was not clear who the others hurt in the attack were.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said in a statement: “A Taliban suicide bomber detonated a large vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at the entrance of Combat Outpost Sayed Abad, Wardak province, yesterday (Saturday).”
The 9/11 attacks led to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan that resulted in the downfall of the Taliban in late 2001.
But the radical Islamists have since re-emerged to wage an increasingly deadly insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul and foreign forces.
The post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan by the United States and its allies “will remain a permanent stigma on the face of Western democracy”, the Taliban said Saturday to mark the attacks on the United States.
“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 Islamists, who refused to give up Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden following the attacks, also said the people of Afghanistan had “endless stamina for a long war” and would “send the Americans to the dustbin of history”.
In a long statement issued in Persian and English, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said the attacks on the US in 2001 had been used, unjustly, as a “pretext” for the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is the name the Taliban gave themselves during their rule in Afghanistan from 1996-2001.
A decade of fighting in Afghanistan began with Operation Enduring Freedom and snowballed into a huge effort involving around 130,000 foreign troops from dozens of countries.