American Soldiers Among 19 Killed In Suicide Attack In Afghanistan -- Taliban Attacker Blows Himself Near Bagram Air Base

Alap Naik Desai

A suicide attack in Afghanistan resulted in the death of multiple American soldiers among the 19 killed. The suicide bomber on a motorbike struck a patrol near Bagram air base. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A Taliban suicide bomber attacked a U.S. NATO-Afghan patrol in Afghanistan and killed several soldiers on Monday. The convoy was on patrol close to Bagram Airfield, confirmed a major US military base, reported the Telegraph. Corroborating the attack, Col. Ahmad Khan Ahmadzai, Bagram's police chief, said the following.

"At around 1pm a joint patrol of Afghan police and US soldiers was hit by the suicide bomber, who drove an explosive-laden motorbike into the foot patrol."

Confirming the deaths, Brig. Gen. William Shoffner, head of public affairs at the Resolute Support base in Kabul, said the following.

"We're deeply saddened by this loss. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those affected in this tragic incident, especially during this holiday season."

Incidentally, less than 24 hours earlier, Taliban insurgents had launched an attack on Sangin district center in Helmand. Though 100 British troops died trying to protect the region, Sangin could fall into the hands of the Taliban, reported the Telegraph.

Despite the announcement last year that confirmed America was pulling majority of its forces from Afghanistan, Washington has kept around 9,800 U.S. troops in Bagram, located around 40 km (25 miles) north of Kabul. Bagram air base in Afghanistan is used by the U.S. officials and Afghan military in a joint co-ordination. The military base is the largest in the country, and routinely serves as a platform to plan and coordinate anti-terrorism operations. Besides having completely functional runways and heli-pads, the base also works as reconnaissance and surveillance hub.

American forces are increasingly wary of Afghanistan's security forces, especially against the rising threat of Taliban. Regional experts feel Afghanistan may not be able to contain the militant group without additional support from international troops.

The suicide attack that killed American soldiers is a sad reminder about Taliban's ability to hit high-profile targets linked to the U.S.-backed government, reported Yahoo. Records indicate more than 2,300 American soldiers have died since the 2001 invasion.

[Photo by Tauseef Mustafa/Getty Images]