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Afghan Insurgents Detonate Explosives Outside Site of Leon Panetta's Visit


U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, talks to reporters while on board his plane headed to Kuwait, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Credit: AP

For the second time in recent memory, Afghan insurgents have launched an attack while Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was in country for a visit.

The Washington Post has more:

Shortly after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta visited troops at Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan on Thursday afternoon, insurgents detonated explosives in a vehicle outside the base, military officials said.

The incident marked the second time this year that insurgents mounted an attack on a coalition base while Panetta was visiting Afghanistan.

In May, a suspected insurgent rammed a stolen vehicle into the airfield at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province shortly after Panetta landed, in an apparent attempt to attack the secretary and senior officials accompanying him.

Military officials said the bombing Thursday occurred at approximately 5 p.m. Panetta had returned to Kabul by then and his delegation was never in imminent risk during the short visit to the heavily guarded, sprawling base. Military official did not immediately provide information on casualties.

A spokesman for Kandahar’s governor said the attack targeted a NATO convoy just outside the base. At least three NATO troops were wounded and two Afghan civilians were killed, spokesman Jawid Faisal said.

​This is a breaking story. Updates will be added.

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