Eight US Soldiers Killed in Afghan Offensive

Massive Firefight in Nuristan

In one of the boldest attacks of 2009, hundreds of insurgents attacked a pair of US outposts in the remote Nuristan Province of Afghanistan yesterday, sparking a day-long firefight that left at least eight US soldiers and two Afghan police dead.

Nuristan’s governor, Jamaluddin Badar, said that the insurgents managed to breach both compounds before eventually being driven back, and the police chief for the district and several other police were captured by the attackers.

So far no specific group has taken credit for the attacks, but officials say the attack was launched from a nearby village. The US has confirmed that it is now planning to abandon the outposts, but it was unclear if the plan was a direct result of the attack.

A remote and generally quiet province in the Hindu Kush, Nuristan has only rarely made headlines for violence. In July of 2008, hundreds of militants attacked US forces in an eerily similar strike called the Battle of Wanat. That strike killed nine US soldiers and wounded 27 others, and likewise led to the US abandoning positions around that village.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.