Saturday, October 29, 2011

17 Die as Suicide Blast Hits U.S. Bus in Afghanistan

At New York Times, "17 Are Killed as Suicide Bomb Hits a U.S. Bus in Afghanistan."

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least five American soldiers, eight American contract workers and four Afghans were killed when a Taliban suicide car bomber attacked an armored shuttle bus in Kabul on Saturday, a military official said.

It was the single deadliest attack for Americans in the capital since the war began, military officials said, and follows brazen Taliban assaults on the American Embassy and NATO headquarters in the city last month.

A NATO official said all of the contract workers were Americans, but the coalition did not officially confirm that.

Such high-profile attacks have been seen as a shift in Taliban strategy as they struggle against a surge in American troops that has loosened the militants’ grip on the Taliban heartland in the South and compromised their ability to stage more conventional attacks on NATO forces. American officials see the latest assaults as the Taliban’s attempt to shake confidence in the Afghan government, which is taking over security from NATO in Kabul and other areas of the country.