The Telegraph
Sunday , September 16 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Taliban raid Harry’s Afghan base

- Attack to avenge film

Kabul, Sept. 15 (AP): The Taliban claimed responsibility today for an attack on a sprawling British base in southern Afghanistan that killed two US Marines and wounded several other troops, saying it was to avenge a film that insulted the Prophet Mohammad and also because Prince Harry is serving there.

The US-led Nato coalition said in a statement that nearly 20 insurgents armed with guns, rocket-propelled grenades and explosive vests infiltrated the perimeter of Camp Bastion. The huge British base is adjacent to Camp Leatherneck, which houses US Marine operations in southern Helmand province.

The coalition said the attack, which began shortly after 10pm yesterday, killed two Nato service members, wounded several others and damaged multiple aircraft and structures.

Coalition forces returned fire and killed 18 militants. One other insurgent, who was wounded, has been detained and is being given medical treatment, the coalition said. Nato service members, who cleared the base of attackers early today, were still assessing the damage to aircraft and buildings on the air field.

“Despite the damage, there will be no impact to ground or air operations from Camp Bastion,” the coalition said. “An investigation is ongoing.” Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, said: “We attacked that base because Prince Harry was also on it and so they can know our anger.” The group often tailors its claims to the news of the day.

“Thousands more suicide attackers are ready to give up their lives for the sake of the Prophet,” Ahmadi said in a telephone call with The Associated Press. Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is based at Camp Bastion.

A spokesman for Britain’s ministry of defence told the AP that Prince Harry was unharmed in the attack, which according to Britain’s Press Association took place 2km from the section of the complex where the prince was located.

Cairo clampdown

Riot police stormed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and rounded up hundreds of protesters early today. Security forces secured the square, just a few hundred yards from the US embassy, and formed cordons in the surrounding roads.