Five people were wounded by a suicide bomber outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Sept. 11, Fox News reports. The incident occurred just hours before service members and civilians gathered at the airfield to commemorate the lives lost during the 9/11 terror attacks.
In a statement, Operation Resolute Support stated that a “small number” of U.S. service members and Afghan civilians were wounded when a vehicle packed with explosives attempted to ram an armored convoy near the village of Qal’eh-ta Musa Bala. A U.S. official later told Fox News that the number of wounded totaled five, including a Georgian soldier.
According to Fox News, the attack resulted in “minor injuries,” and the wounded were quickly transferred to a medical facility at Bagram Air Base for treatment. But given the occasion, it’s likely American service members there walked away from the incident with jangled nerves.
It’s been 16 years since 9/11, and there are still some 11,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in the country. They will soon be joined by 3,500 additional troops, who are en route to quell the Taliban resurgence that followed the end of NATO combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014. But after 16 years of near-continuous war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the American public is increasingly skeptical of a prolonged troop presence abroad.
The campaign has become increasingly complex in recent months as U.S. troops have become drawn into a fight against Afghanistan’s ISIS-K faction rather than the Taliban militants who provided safe harbor to the al-Qaeda operatives behind the 9/11 attacks. The Aug. 16 death of a U.S. service member brought the total number of troops killed in action in Afghanistan in 2017 to 10, seven of whom were killed by ISIS-K.
The day before Monday’s attack, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan released a moving video commemorating the 9/11 attacks, a message to the loved ones of those killed on that clear Tuesday that “their loved ones are #NeverForgotten.”
— USForces Afghanistan (@USFOR_A) September 10, 2017
Unfortunately, the thwarted suicide bomber is a grim reminder of the work ahead to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for Islamic terrorism.