2 US Troops Killed in Attack on Afghan Base

30 Taliban killed in gun battle at base near Pakistan border
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2009 5:57 AM CDT
A US Blackhawk helicopter with soldiers of Charle Company 173rd Airborne Combat Team onboard takes off as they head out into battle against Taliban insurgents in Paktika province.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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(Newser) – Two American troops were killed when militants attacked a base in eastern Afghanistan today, exploding a truck loaded with gravel outside the gates and sparking a 2-hour gunbattle, the AP reports. US forces called in airstrikes to end the clash, killing over 30 insurgents, the governor of Paktika province says. The attack, near the Pakistan border, was hundreds of miles from the massive Marine assault in southern Afghanistan, underscoring  the militants' ability to inflict casualties on over-stretched US forces as they widen their battle against the Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, boasting that a hundred Taliban fighters fired at the coalition troops for several hours after the blast, briefly taking over two of their checkpoints. Today's attack happened in the same province where an American soldier and three Afghans were believed captured by insurgents Tuesday.