The head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta, has confirmed that seven of his colleagues were killed and six others were wounded during a brazen suicide attack at a US military base in eastern Afghanistan.
AFP - Seven CIA agents were killed and six wounded in a suicide attack on a US base in eastern Afghanistan, the Central Intelligence Agency confirmed on Thursday.
The CIA issued the confirmation after media reports said as many as eight CIA employees were killed in the attack Wednesday, in which a Taliban bomber managed to penetrate the defenses of a base in the province of Khost, detonating an explosives belt in a room described as a gym.
CIA chief Leon Panetta told the agency "today that seven of their colleagues were killed and six others were injured on Wednesday at a Forward Operating Base in Khost Province, Afghanistan. The casualties were the result of a terrorist attack," the CIA said in a statement.
The base had been used by the CIA and one of the many provincial reconstruction teams that dot the country. The teams were designed to deliver humanitarian assistance and stabilizing difficult areas.
"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," Panetta said his message.
The attack appeared to have killed more US intelligence personnel than have died since the start of the US-led invasion in 2001. The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged the deaths of four CIA officers in Afghanistan since then.
The Pentagon said the base was close to the border with Pakistan.
Date created : 2009-12-31