Seven ANA soldiers, five bombers killed in border attack
03 September, 2013
LANDIKOTAL: Seven soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and five suicide bombers were killed while 40 trucks loaded with US military consignments were destroyed in explosions and gunfight near the US Army base camp in Afghanistan at a distance of one kilometre from the Torkham border, Afghan sources said on Monday.
An eyewitness Haji Ahmad, a shopkeeper on the Afghan side of Torkham border, told this scribe that dozens of trucks and containers were waiting at the private parking lot for clearance of documents to enter Pakistan when the incident happened. He said several explosions took place within a few minutes followed by gunfire.
Pleading anonymity, an official said the militants first beheaded seven ANA soldiers at the picket constructed near the US Army's Sheraz Camp. "Blasts occurred in the loaded trucks at parking lots followed by gunfire and rocket attack," he said.
He said the militants stormed the parking lot and handcuffed the watchmen on duty there. He added that the gunmen attached explosive devices to every truck before triggering the explosions at around 5am.
At least 40 trucks loaded with equipment and armoured vehicles caught fire after the explosions and were reduced to ashes.The parking lots are located some 500 yards from the US Army base where trucks stay for a few days to get documents cleared before entering Pakistan.
Quoting Afghan officials, the sources said the main aim of the attackers was the US Army base to carry out suicide bombings. As the blasts took place, the ANA soldiers and US field forces backed by gunship helicopters and jet fighters reached the spot, Afghan officials said, adding five gunmen were shot dead while two others were arrested after offering resistance for seven hours.
Independent sources said first a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance to the US base camp after which several militants entered it and began firing. However, Afghan officials claimed to have killed the five bombers before they could enter the camp. They said two of the attackers were captured. They claimed the ANA and US soldiers remained unhurt in the attack. Afghan security forces cordoned off the Torkham bazaar and blocked the Torkham-Jalalabad highway for seven hours.
Later, passengers and truckers were allowed to cross the border.