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Afghan Taliban Claims Attack Killing 2 US Marines


Taliban fighters have attacked a British military base in southern Afghanistan, killing two U.S. Marines. Militants claimed the attack was partly in retaliation for an anti-Islam film made in the United States.

International forces say nearly 20 Taliban attacked Camp Bastion in Helmand Province late Friday night, firing mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and shooting their way into the perimeter of the base.

The U.S.-led coalition forces returned fire, killing all the militants except for one, who was being held in custody. Officials said the attackers also had suicide bomb vests.

U.S. officials said in a statement that the attack killed two service members, wounded several and also damaged multiple aircraft and buildings in the sprawling and heavily defended base.

International Security Forces Spokesman Charlie Stadtlander said Camp Bastion was secure on Saturday.

"ISAF [International Security Assistance Forces] has determined that despite the damage, there will be no impact to ground or air operations from Camp Bastion," Stadtlander noted.

A Taliban spokesman said the attack in the southern province of Helmand was in response to an online film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad. The movie has sparked fatal protests across the Muslim world.

The spokesman also said the Taliban was targeting Britain's Prince Harry, who is a captain stationed at the British camp. The prince is third in line to the British throne. British officials said he was not harmed.

In a separate incident in southern Afghanistan, an individual believed to be an Afghan police officer shot and killed two coalition soldiers. ISAF said in a statement that the attacker was killed and the incident was under investigation.

So-called green-on-blue attacks, when a member of Afghan security forces turns on coalition troops, have been on the rise in Afghanistan.
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    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

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