(HELMAND, Afghanistan) — Taliban fighters Friday launched a complex and sustained attack on the large U.S.-British military base in Southern Afghanistan where Britain’s Prince Harry is based, killing two U.S. Marines and injuring several others.
Taliban fighters attacked the coalition base at Camp Bastion-Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province just before midnight local time with small-arms fire and rocket attacks, according to U.S. officials.
A U.S. official said Prince Harry is safe and was not affected by the attack. The British Defense Ministry said Friday that Prince Harry had been deployed to Camp Bastion along with his Apache helicopter unit. It is Prince Harry’s second deployment to Afghanistan.
A Taliban spokesman had said days after the announcement of Harry’s deployment that they would try to kill him while he’s in Helmand Province.
“We will do our best to kill Prince Harry and Britain’s other troops based in Helmand,” Zabihullah Mujahid said. “It is not important for us to kidnap him. We will target him and we will kill him.”
The coalition camp houses as many as 28,000 international troops. The British side of the base is known as Camp Bastion, the adjoining U.S. facility is called Camp Leatherneck. Defense officials say the casualties and damage to buildings and aircraft occurred on a Marine portion of the base located at Camp Bastion.
A Defense official said two Harrier fighter jets flown by U.S. Marines were damaged in the attack.
Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr., a spokesman for International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, said a “follow-on assessment” of damage to the base is ongoing.
The attack was repelled, but it is unclear how many Taliban fighters might have been killed or wounded.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN