Kabul, Afghanistan- Insurgent fire ravaged the Bagram Air Base, destroying a heavy-transport helicopter and killing three Afghan intelligence employees who were on board, NATO reported on Tuesday.
At approximately 10 p.m. on Monday, the rockets hit the airfield base, ABC reported. In a statement which was released, Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility.
Aboard the Chinook CH-47 were NATO service members who were injured but not killed, spokesman for International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Hagen Messer said.
“We can confirm that an ISAF helicopter was destroyed by indirect fire,” Messer said, as reported in The New York Times. Either rocket fire or mortar were probably the weapons used, though it remains unknown at this point.
Often Taliban insurgents fire mortar shells or rockets outside of the garrisoned Bagram Air Force Base, though this level of damage does not usually occur.
In a separate incident, on Tuesday a teenage suicide bomber walked into a western Afghanistan shop where the bomb exploded, killing the bomber and five others The Washington Post reported.
The strike outside of Kabul approached as U.S. and allied military forces prepared for a somber remembrance of the September, 11 attacks. Since the inception of The War on Terror, lead by the U.S., the United Kingdom and NATO, which began more than ten years ago, death tolls stand at 3,000 foreign troops and 2,000 U.S. troops dead.
Marine Gen. John Allen, who is the highest ranking commander of U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, spoke at NATO’s headquarters in Kabul:
“Today we remember the victims here in Afghanistan who have suffered so horribly at the hands of al-Qaida and the Taliban and other terrorists,” he said. “Perhaps more significant to all of us at this ceremony, today we remember the precious soldiers and civilians of all nations lost in Afghanistan since that day of infamy in 2001.”