Thursday, December 31, 2009

CIA Confirms Seven Killed by Afghan Suicide Bomb

Via BBC -

Seven CIA agents were killed in a bomb attack in Afghanistan, the US agency's director, Leon Panetta, has confirmed.

A bomber wearing an explosive vest entered Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province, near Pakistan.

A Taliban spokesman said a member of the group working for the Afghan army had carried out the attack.

Earlier reports said eight CIA agents had been killed in the attack - the worst against US intelligence officials since 1983.

The attack has raised questions about the coalition's ability to protect itself against infiltrators, analysts say.

Paying tribute to the fallen, Mr Panetta said six other agents were injured in Wednesday's attack at the Forward Operating Base in Khost Province.

"Those who fell yesterday were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism," he said.

"We owe them our deepest gratitude, and we pledge to them and their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause to which they dedicated their lives - a safer America."

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the BBC the Khost bomber was wearing an army uniform when he managed to breach security at the base, detonating his explosives belt in the gym.


As I noted in June 2009, it is extremely rare for the names of those killed in action to be released. But this year, the CIA revealed the identity of a clandestine officer killed in Ethiopia in 2003. Even now, only 30 names are known out of the more than 90 stars on the CIA Memorial Wall.

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