Wednesday, 19 September 2012

NATO announces arrest over major base attack

NATO said it had arrested a Taliban leader on Tuesday wanted for an unprecedented attack on a major military base in southern Afghanistan that destroyed six US fighter jets and killed two US Marines.

The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said troops detained the suspect and two other suspected insurgents in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province, where the giant Camp Bastion is located.

"The Taliban leader was successfully taken into custody by the security force following joint efforts by Afghan and coalition forces to track down the Taliban insurgents responsible for the Camp Bastion attack," ISAF said.

The military said it believed the suspect had provided support to those who stormed the base late Friday, but did not elaborate further.

ISAF says it is still investigating how 15 Taliban commandos, armed with suicide vests, guns and rockets and wearing US uniforms, breached the perimeter wall of Camp Bastion, one of the most heavily guarded bases in the country.

The third in line to the British throne, Prince Harry, who is deployed to the base, was moved under guard to a secure location during the attack, Britain's defence minister said.

The prince was about two kilometres away with other Apache crew members when the base was attacked, but was not in danger, according to the minister, Philip Hammond.

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