Suicide Bomber Targets Vice-President Cheney
A suicide bomber killed 14 people outside a U.S. air base in Afghanistan, in what appears to have been an attack targeting Vice-President Cheney.
A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, killing at least 14 people and wounding a dozen more. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.
Cheney’s spokeswoman said he was fine, and the vice president later met with President Hamid Karzai in the capital, Kabul, before leaving the country.
Maj. William Mitchell said it did not appear the explosion was intended as a threat to the vice president. “He wasn’t near the site of the explosion,” Mitchell said. “He was safely within the base at the time of the explosion.”
However, a purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said Cheney was the target of the attack.
“We knew that Dick Cheney would be staying inside the base,” Ahmadi told AP telephone from an undisclosed location. “The attacker was trying to reach Cheney.”
It appears that Cheney was never seriously threatened, as the suicide bomber wasn’t able to even get onto the base and chose to attack the local population, instead. Still, this attack goes to demonstrate the very serious problem of the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. Suicide bombings were virtually unknown in Afghanistan until last year, and the numbers keep going up.