8 Americans, 5 Canadians killed in Afghan bombings

8 Americans, 5 Canadians killed in Afghan bombings

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the attack took place on Wednesday on a US military base near the Pakistani border.

In Washington, the dead and at least eight wounded were feared to be mostly Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) workers or intelligence contractors. The attack appeared to be by far the deadliest strike against the US intelligence community in the eight-year war in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported on its website.

Media reports from Kabul said a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest carried out the attack.

In another attack on foreigners in southern Afghanistan, four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist were killed on Wednesday in a roadside bombing in Kandahar province, the Canadian Defence Ministry said.

Four soldiers and another civilian were also injured in the blast on an armoured vehicle 4 km south of the provincial capital, also called Kandahar, the ministry said.
The US government was releasing little information about the Khost attack.

A spokesman at US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, the theatre unit of the US military responsible for its operations in Central Asia and the Middle East, confirmed there was an explosion at Forward Operating Base Chapman. None of those killed were military personnel, the spokesman said.

The base is reportedly used as an operations and surveillance centre.
"We mourn the loss of life in this attack and are withholding further details pending notification of next of kin," Kelly said.

Four CIA officers are known to have died in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led offensive to topple the then-ruling Taliban movement.

The Canadian government was also withholding the names of the soldiers killed in the Kandahar attack until their families were contacted, but the journalist's newspaper, the Calgary Herald, identified her as Michelle Lang, 34.

Lang was embedded with Canadian troops in southern Afghanistan, reporting on their mission in the insurgency-plagued region, and was on patrol with a convoy when she died, it said.

She was the first Canadian journalist to die during the most recent Afghan conflict, the Herald said.

She had arrived on her first trip to Afghanistan in mid-December for what had been planned as a six-week stay after recently becoming engaged, it said.

According to icasualties.org, a website that tracks foreign troop casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, 138 Canadian soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan since their deployment there in 2002.

All foreign forces deaths there now total 1,567, the highest number of 949 coming from the United States, it said.