KABUL, Afghanistan – Insurgents armed with rockets, mortars and a truck bomb staged an unusual frontal attack on a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing two American soldiers and forcing the defenders to call in airstrikes to avoid being overrun.
The assault, which came as thousands of American troops were taking part in an anti-Taliban offensive hundreds of miles away in the south of Afghanistan, pointed up the insurgents’ ability to take the fight to a location of their choosing – in this case a remote outpost in Paktika province, which borders Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Saturday’s attack on a small base in Zerok district, which lasted several hours, took place in the same area where a U.S. soldier disappeared Tuesday. The U.S. military said two days later that the missing man was believed to have been captured. A search is under way.
American military officials said “several” U.S. soldiers were wounded in addition to the two killed in the base attack, but declined to provide a more precise figure.
Mousavi spells out election complaint
Tehran, Iran – Mir Hossein Mousavi, the leading opposition candidate in last month’s disputed election, released documents Saturday detailing a campaign of alleged fraud by supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that assured his re-election, while an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader accused Mousavi of treason.
Hossein Shariatmadari, a special adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused Mousavi of being a “foreign agent” working for the United States and a member of a “fifth column” determined to topple Iran’s Islamic system of governance. The accusation of treason was the highest and most direct issued by an Iranian official since the June 12 election.
Many in Iran say that government forces are laying the groundwork for arresting Mousavi, who has not been seen in public in more than a week.
In a 24-page document posted on his Web site, Mousavi’s special committee studying election fraud accused influential Ahmadinejad supporters of handing out cash bonuses and food, increasing wages, printing millions of extra ballots and other acts in the run-up to the vote.