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Tue Jun 11, 2013, 08:36 AM

Tet of 2013 Continues


Sayed Maqbol gestures at the the unfinished house next door to his in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was used by Taliban fighters to attack a NATO base at the adjacent Kabul International Airport. The Afghan police rescued his family in the resulting fierce firefight.

In quiet Kabul neighborhood, Taliban attack began with mugging at mosque
By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq | McClatchy Foreign Staff
Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide attack that paralyzed a key NATO headquarters at Kabul’s international airport early Monday began, as it turns out, with a mugging outside a mosque.

The seven Taliban fighters drove into a residential neighborhood adjacent to the northern, military side of the airport, in a car and a delivery truck, about 4 a.m. Monday. They got out and tried to enter a house but the gate was locked, said a man named Berhannudin, who was walking with a friend to a nearby mosque for morning prayers.


At first, Berhannudin – who like many Afghans uses only one name – thought the men really were police. Then the one in civilian clothes pointed a pistol at another man outside the mosque and demanded his cellphone before the men returned to their vehicles.

What happened next was a five-hour orgy of gunfire and explosions as the men took up positions in a massive four-story home under construction about 350 yards north of the airport’s security perimeter and opened fire on the operational headquarters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and the headquarters of the Afghan air force.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tet of 2013 Continues (Original post)
unhappycamper Jun 2013 OP
Victor_c3 Jun 2013 #1
unhappycamper Jun 2013 #2
Victor_c3 Jun 2013 #3
pinboy3niner Jun 2013 #4

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 10:30 AM

1. Takes me back a little bit

One RPG landed close enough to the journalists to ruffle their hair, but the firefight didn’t keep a local resident from bringing them bread, kebabs and tea in glass cups. Or local kids from peering around the house at the siege, though a local elder repeatedly chastised them and chased them back.

Sorry for the war story and bringing everything back to my experiences in Iraq, but I'll post this anyways.

The above excerpt from the article reminded me of a firefight I was a part of in Iraq in 2004. I was a part of a company sized element that was occupying a cluster of government buildings in a suburb of Baqubah during a 3 day firefight. On the second day of fighting my platoon was providing security for the buildings and engaged with fighting enemy forces just outside of the cluster. As noon approached a group of Iraqi police officers emerged from one of the buildings, approached my Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and asked to leave to go get some lunch. They loaded up into a pickup truck, sped off, and about 30-60 minutes later, returned with lunch for their police station. Meanwhile, one of my squads was around the corner engaged by sniper fire and one of my tanks was in the process of leveling a building that housed the enemy element that was engaging us.

These Iraqi police officers thought nothing of the fighting going on around them. It was time for their lunch break and they had to go.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:55 AM

2. Another wayback story:

This REMF's first trip to Nam

After I came back from 2 1/2 years in Turkey I was assigned to Ft. Hood. At the time I was a Spec. 5, transitioning into Radio Repair (31E).

Westmoreland and LBJ needed more bodies to fight the Commies in Nam. One of those efforts was reconstituting the Americal Division; I ended up in the 198th Light Infantry Brigade. After six months of training, we were put onto trains(!*&%) and sent to Oakland, CA.

A few more days and we were on a troopship to Nam. We hit 14 foot swells about 400 miles north of Hawaii and I never stopped puking my brains out until we finally landed in Da Nang. After we disembarked we were a) given a box of .223 ammo (a whole fucking box!!) and b) loaded our asses on an LST for the trip to Chu Lai. (The LST ride was worse than the troopship.)

Got down to Chu Lai and we setup camp in an area that had been freshly cleared.

We had a squad tent about 20 meters from the wire.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 30 we heard incoming 122mm rockets landing in the Division area to our rear. Lock and load. Grab your weapon, a bandoleer or two, your flak vest and steel pot and head out for the wire. (I was wearing flip flops at the time.)

So we're out on the wire looking for Commies and facing the Chu Lai Air Base which was about 3 miles from where we were. I must digress for a moment... Every day the Air Base would get somewhere between 15 ~ 20 flatbed trucks (S&P) loaded with 550-lb and up bombs. Since the convoy got in late that day some wizard decided to park all the S&Ps together in the middle of the Air Base ammo dump.

That Chu Lai ammo dump explosion is the largest blast I have ever seen. The blast looked like to VC had dropped an atom bomb on us. The mushroom cloud kept rising and rising and rising. A few days after that attack I was on a chopper heading south, China Beach was black for miles due to burnt gunpowder. Another interesting thing I saw was an F-4 Phantom (.5 mile away from dump) picked up and thrown thru a hanger.

On my second REMF tour to Nam I was in the invasion of Cambodia (25th ID) for about four weeks. That's another story.

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Response to unhappycamper (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:09 PM

3. Thanks for writing that

It's always interesting to hear the tidbits and stories about the lives of the few people I kind of follow on this forum. Thanks again for sharing.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 03:14 PM

4. In Vietnam we had Kit Carson Scouts

They were former Viet Cong or NVA who had 'Chieu Hoi'd,' or surrendered to our side, and we used them as scouts in the field.

They were not prisoners, and we'd give them a weekend pass to go home--and they'd disappear for two weeks. I never held it against them, wanting to be home with their families. But when they were with us in the field, they were invaluable.

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