Taliban fighters attacked a coalition outpost in Afghanistan with a truck bomb Saturday, killing at least two Afghan workers and injuring 77 coalition fighters, many of them Americans. The attack was intended as a headline-generating strike, U.S. officials told CNN, but it also underscored the difficulty insurgents have had in scoring major blows against the coalition.
"This attack was a high-profile attack. It was a pretty significant suicide vehicle bomb," Gen. John R. Allen, commander of coalition and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux Sunday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault. NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed the attack was carried out by a Taliban suicide bomber.
Allen said the attack indicates "much more what the Taliban are unable to do" than what they are able to do.
"They have been ejected from the population in so many places around the country that their only ability to influence the battlefield on many occasions is simply to go for a high-profile attack. And that's how we view this particular attack," he said.
The attack came in the same region that has seen other high-profile attacks, the Los Angeles Times noted, including the destruction of a coalition helicopter last month.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place Saturday evening in the Sayedabad district of Wardak province. That is the same district where insurgents last month shot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter, killing 30 American troops, 22 of them elite Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden in May.
The Chinook crash, which remains under investigation, was the worst single loss of American military lives in the nearly decade-long war.