Video: Bomber in CIA attack not searched

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    >>> new details continue to emerge about that deadly attack that killed seven cia employees in a remote outpost in southeastern afghanistan a few days ago. there are reports the suicide bomber had been invited onto the base and had not been searched. we get more now from nbc's jim maceda in kabul.

    >> reporter: confirmation of that associated press report that broke yesterday citing two unnamed u.s. officials, that the afghan man wearing an afghan army uniform pep traited and blew himself up in that base in southeastern afghanistan was, in fact, someone that the cia was trying to court or turn to become an informant. of course what happened after that, which is now raising eyebrows in the intelligence community and the military community as well, suggesting the reach and the sophistication of the taliban being able now perhaps to use double agents to penetrate u.s. military bases. one of the officials quoted in that ap story says that it's not unusual to relax standard operating procedures in terms of security when it involves an individual who is being courted or who is trying to be won over by the cia . in this particular case, of course, we understand that this individual was not searched as a highly secure and guarded front gate. of course trust and confidence is important in working up your recruits in the field. in this case trust did turn fatal. again, seven cia officers were killed in that blast, six were wounded, and it's come to our attention that one of those killed was the host of station chief . she was apparently the mother of three. again, this was the biggest single loss of life for the cia since that u.s. embassy blast in 1983 which killed dozens. back to you.

    >> nbc's jim maceda reporting from

updated 1/1/2010 12:35:09 PM ET 2010-01-01T17:35:09

An airstrike by international forces in the southern Afghan province of Helmand killed seven civilians, two Taliban and wounded another civilian, an Afghan official said Friday.

Dawud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attack took place Wednesday after an international patrol came under fire from insurgents and called for air support. NATO said it was aware of the reports and was investigating.

It is the second claim of civilian deaths in allied attacks in a week. The Afghan government says that 10 people were killed, including eight schoolchildren, in a village in eastern Kunar province in a nighttime raid by international forces last weekend.

Claims of civilians being killed in military operations are one of the most emotionally charged issues facing international forces. Although insurgents are responsible for the deaths of far more civilians, those blamed on coalition forces spark the most resentment and undermine the fight against the militants.

The attack in Kunar sparked protests by Afghans who have demanded that foreign troops leave the country.

President Hamid Karzai on Friday met at the presidential palace with representatives from Paktia province who denounced the alleged killing of three civilians there in December. Karzai said he would raise the issue of civilian deaths at the international conference on Afghanistan that is to take place in London on Jan. 28.

On Friday, NATO said joint Afghan-international forces had captured a Taliban member in Kandahar province responsible for movement of weapons and components, and a member of the affiliated Haqqani insurgent group involved with weapons and explosives in Khost province.

Khost is the province where a suicide bomber penetrated a base and killed seven CIA employees Wednesday. A NATO spokesman said there was no immediate information on whether the Haqqani member's seizure was related to the attack, which raised concerns about the security at foreign bases.

Two former U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the bomber had been invited onto the base and had not been searched. One of the officials, a former senior intelligence employee, said the man was being courted as an informant and that it was the first time he had been brought inside the camp.

NATO also reported that a U.S. service member died Thursday in eastern Afghanistan of injuries not related to battle. It did not give further details.

The British Defense Ministry said that a soldier was killed Thursday in an explosion in Helmand province. The ministry's statement did not give details but said the soldier was working with a unit trying to lessen the threat of improvised explosive devices.

Such bombs have become a major element of the Taliban's strategy against foreign forces. Of the 108 British soldiers who died in Afghanistan in 2009, more than 70 percent were killed by IEDs.

Separately, five Afghan civilians — two women, two men and a driver — were killed Friday when their vehicle hit a bomb on a main road in Bala Murghab district in the northern province of Badghis, said Sharafuddin Majidi, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Also Friday, the deputy police chief of Khost province, Youqb Khan, said at least four security guards for a road construction crew were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the northern part of the province.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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