Nato troops tell of Taliban firefight inside Camp Bastion
Source: The Guardian
A set of wire cutters and a moonless night were all the Taliban needed to break into one of the most intimidating military bases in Afghanistan, the vast desert headquarters of UK troops and the US Marine corps.
The attack last month caught the foreign coalition in Afghanistan by surprise, and underlined the Taliban's tenacity even in a part of the country that was a focus of fighting by US surge forces, and where the Taliban's hold has been severely weakened.
Fifteen insurgents killed two US marines and destroyed six Harrier jets in the attack; another two were so badly damaged they could only be used "for spares". A fuel depot went up in flames and soldiers assigned to non-combat jobs grabbed weapons to fight the Taliban at close quarters.
"I came over to Afghanistan just expecting to refuel planes," said Sergeant Jammie Hawkins from Tennessee, who instead found himself trading bullets with three Taliban fighters outside his offices.