Afghan Taliban admit deadly attacks on Westerners

The Taliban today admitted they were behind two separate bombings in Afghanistan that killed 13 Westerners.

A suicide attack at a CIA base left eight American civilians and one Afghan dead, the worst loss of life for the US in the country since October.

And four Canadian soldiers and a journalist in their unit were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s south.

Michelle Lang, a 34-year-old health reporter with the Calgary Herald, was the first Canadian journalist to die in Afghanistan. She arrived in the country just two weeks ago.

It was not immediately clear how the suicide bomber at the CIA’s Forward Operating Base Chapman at the edge of Khost city was able to evade security.

The Taliban said in a statement that an Afghan National Army officer wearing a suicide vest entered the base yesterday and blew himself up inside the gym.

Khost is the capital of Khost province, which borders Pakistan and is a Taliban stronghold.

The US said eight American civilians and one Afghan were killed and six Americans were wounded.

About 200 Afghans have been contracted by the US to take care of security at the base. They are usually deployed on the outer ring of its walls, although some work inside.

Nato said only that the base is used by provincial reconstruction teams, which consist of both soldiers and civilians, and other personnel.

A spokesman in Kabul for the international coalition force said no US or Nato troops were killed in the explosion. The attack was the bloodiest for Americans since eight soldiers were killed in an insurgent raid on a base in eastern Afghanistan on October 3.

In the south, Nato said the four Canadian troops and the reporter died when their armoured vehicle hit a bomb while on an afternoon patrol south of Kandahar city. It was the third-deadliest day for Canadians in Afghanistan since the war began.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement of condolence to Americans and Canadians, saying “your children sacrificed their lives for the people of Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism. The Afghans will not forget your sacrifice.”

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