Scored A Hit, But General Martin Dempsey Was Not Near The Aircraft
A rocket fired into a U.S. military base in Afghanistan by militant rebels managed to damage the airplane being used by the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Martin Dempsey (pictured in Joint Cheifs' photo), but the officer was nowhere near the plane when the attack occurred.
Still, damaging the plane was cause for some propaganda on the part of the Taliban. Zabiulla Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the Monday night attack on Bagram Air Field near Kabul. Mujahid saying that insurgents had used "exact information" about the location of Dempsey's plane in mounting the attack.
The Associated Press reports that two maintenance workers were slightly injured in the attack. The Joint Chiefs Chair flew out of Afghanistan Tuesday morning on a different plane. A helicopter was also damaged in the attack.
Coalition spokesman Jamie Graybeal said that it was unlikely that Dempsey's plane was deliberately hit. He said mortar and rocket attacks on Bagram, which is a sprawling base, are not particularly rare. But they are usually mounted from so far away that it would be unlikely that they would be able to hit a specific target.
The Taliban also claims to have shot down a U.S. military helicopter which went down last Thursday, resulting in the loss of seven Americans and four Afghans on board. The helo went down during a firefight, but initial U.S. reports indicate that enemy fire did not bring the aircraft down.