August 20, 2008
By CARLOTTA GALL and SANGAR RAHIMI
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting, one a complex attack with multiple suicide bombers on a United States military base Monday night, and another by some 100 insurgents on French forces in a district east of the capital, killing 10 French soldiers and wounding 21 others, military officials said Tuesday.
Three American soldiers were wounded and six members of the Afghan special forces in the attack on the base in the eastern province of Khost, bordering Pakistan, the Afghan military spokesman, General Zaher Azimi, said. The battle lasted all night, 10 suicide bombers were killed or blew themselves up, and the insurgents were repulsed without entering the base, he said.
The heavy fighting in the two places marks a sharp escalation in insurgent operations in what is already Afghanistan’s deadliest year since the United States’ intervention in 2001. Insurgents have increased their use of roadside bombs and suicide bombs, but have also shown a growing sophistication with several well-organized, complex attacks employing multiple attackers and different types of weapons systems, NATO officials say.