Taliban launch complex attack/PR offensive

NY Times:

Eight Taliban insurgents were killed on Wednesday after they attacked the NATO air base in Jalalabad, using a suicide car bomb and rocket-propelled grenades to attempt to breach the gate.

The attack, which was similar to one carried out at Bagram Air Base in May, began at 7:30 in the morning when a suicide bomber driving a car detonated his explosives at the eastern gate of the base. The explosion, which was heard by people in the area, was followed by militants launching grenades and firing other weapons. The attack appeared to be designed to generate publicity and remind people of the Taliban presence in the area.

Although the insurgents did not enter the main air base, which is set back substantially from the main road, the firefight disrupted traffic for several hours on the road, the main route to the Pakistan border crossing at Torkham.

The Taliban took credit for the attack in a telephone interview. Two NATO soldiers received minor injuries, according to a NATO spokesperson.

...

The Taliban use car bombs to substitute for heavy artillery prep fires. This is generally followed by RPG fire and small arms fire to cover an assault. It is a tactic they have used before, and it rarely if ever works, if their intent is to breach the perimeter and "do something." The force used was far to small to accomplish much if they had breached the perimeter. I think the reporter is correct to point out that it was probably done for the PR effect like most of their attacks. It raises the theological question of how many virgins do they get for an ineffective PR event?

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