Fox News – September 15, 2012
Two Marines were killed and several more injured when Afghan militants armed with rocket propelled grenades and small arms breached the perimeter of the main U.S. Marine base in southern Afghanistan, following a rocket and mortar attack on the base that is shared with British forces.
Five aircraft were destroyed and three more damaged during an attack on Camp Bastion/Camp Leatherneck that also killed 16 Taliban, Friday, an International Security Assistance Force’s Joint Command spokesman told Fox News.
The base took indirect and small arms fire, causing major damage to buildings, an aircraft hangar.
The attack occurred on the same base where a burning man, largely assumed to be an Afghan suicide bomber targeted the plane of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in March.
The base is a major military facility in the war-ravaged nation’s Helmand province.
Britain’s Prince Harry is stationed at the base with his Apache helicopter unit. Prince Harry, known to his unit as Captain Wales, recently arrived at Camp Bastion, according to information released last week by Buckingham Palace.
The Taliban issued statements threatening to kidnap or kill the prince.
This facility is often subject to indirect fire, but officials in Afghanistan say the damage that has resulted is far more severe than normal. The attacks came during a period of intense protests and violence elsewhere in the Middle East.
Fox News has learned that the attack by armed militants on the main U.S. Marine base in southern Afghanistan was larger and more sophisticated than first reported.
Since the March attack security at the base was not increased and responsibility for securing the compound was transitioned to joint control with Afghan security forces in spite of a recent spate of “insider attacks” carried out by Afghans who NATO forces had trained or who had permission to be on U.S. bases.
Fox News’ Justin Fishel and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report