NATO convoy ambushed in Afghanistan
Published Thursday, March 29, 2012
Insurgents ambushed on Thursday a NATO coalition supply convoy in a mountainous area in Afghanistan, sparking a three-hour firefight in which an Afghan soldier, five security guards, and 14 attackers were killed, Afghan officials said.
The battle raged along a highway regularly used by coalition supply trucks in the western Bala Buluk district of Farah province, a spokesman for the Afghan National Army's western region, Najibullah Najibi said.
"The fighting was intense and we sent in extra forces," Najibi said.
There were varying estimates of the number of fighters killed.
Raouf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Afghan National Police in the west, said more than 30 fighters were killed and 10 others were wounded.
Sayed Abdul Wahid, an official of the Arya security company, said his workers who were fighting with AK-47s were overpowered by insurgents using heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
He said five of his employees were killed and five others were wounded by insurgents who burned three vehicles in the convoy.
Tensions are running high between local Afghans and their US-led occupiers after a US soldier massacred 17 Afghan civilians – mostly women and children – earlier in the month.
US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38, is facing 17 charges of murder at a US military court, but it remains uncertain whether he will receive appropriate punishment for the killings.
The Taliban pledged revenge for the massacre, having pulled out of peace talks with the US a fortnight ago.