News / Asia

NATO Forces Repel Taliban Attack on Airbase

TEXT SIZE - +

Militants set off a car bomb and used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the entrance of an airbase outside Jalalabad, near the Pakistani border Wednesday.

The Taliban say six suicide bombers killed dozens of Afghan and foreign forces in the brazen daylight attack. But NATO spokesman Brigadier General Josef Blotz refutes that claim.

"In this incident several insurgents were killed and I can tell you that the security perimeter was not breached and the insurgents were being stopped by Afghan and ISAF forces very effectively," Blotz said.

The attack appeared planned and coordinated, much like a Taliban assault last May on the Bagram air base, NATO's biggest in Afghanistan.

June has been the bloodiest month of the near nine-year-old war for foreign troops, with over 100 killed. The rising toll comes amid a troop surge for an operation that seeks to take on the Taliban in their heartland.

On Tuesday in Washington, U.S. General David Petraeus warned there are still difficult days ahead.

"My sense is that the tough fighting will continue, " he said. "Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months. As we take away the enemy's safe havens and reduce the enemy's freedom of action, the Insurgents will fight back."

Petraeus has been nominated to head the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan after his predecessor, General Stanley McChrystal, resigned. McChrystal and his aides had made disparaging remarks about Obama administration officials in a magazine interview.

At Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearing, Petraeus said he believes the Afghan government and its international allies can still succeed in the fight against the Taliban.

But many observers say any progress will be slow. Jeremy Binnie, a terrorism and insurgency expert at IHS Jane's defense group, says instead of making sustainable gains and winning over the public, coalition troops have been preoccupied with chasing insurgents.

"What we're typically seeing that the coalition and Afghan allies are capable of securing sort of district centers, the center of these towns, and displacing the Taliban out of them," he says. "But the insurgents merely move a few miles down the road and they sort of set up a new safe haven and then they do their absolute utmost to undermine any perception of security."

Rampant corruption in the Afghan government is also raising doubts about the overall war strategy that is now aimed at winning the support of civilians and potential militant defectors.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Kabul Wednesday to discuss the country's anti-corruption efforts. He also will discuss ways to improve Afghanistan's judicial system in his meetings with Afghan and U.S. officials.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid