#AceNewsServices – LONDON – April 16 – British army commanders were partly to blame for the inadequate defences and complacency that allowed the Taliban to attack a base in Afghanistan, killing two US marines, a parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.
The September 2012 attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand province saw 15 heavily-armed Taliban fighters dressed in US army uniforms cut the perimeter wire before destroying six US harrier jets and damaging many other aircraft and vehicles.
Two US marines were killed during the attack and 16 US and British staff as well as a civilian contractor were injured.
The committee said the perimeter security measures in place at the time of the attack were inadequate, with less than half of the camp’s 24 guard-towers manned that night.
“Insufficient attention was given to the fundamental requirement of defending Camp Bastion from external assault. We believe that this was complacent,” the Defence Committee, which scrutinises government defence policy and expenditure, said in a report. “Given that the attack took place in the British sector of the camp, British commanders must bear a degree of responsibility for these systemic failures and associated reputational damage.”
Two US generals were forced to retire following a US review of the attack last year.
The committee said it was concerned that there had been a number of breaches of the perimeter fence in the two years before the attack, and that a tolerance of poppy cultivation immediately outside the fence had increased the risk of surveillance and intelligence gathering by Afghan nationals.
While it was satisfied that the camp’s vulnerabilities had now been addressed, the committee asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to explain how it intended to use lessons identified from the attack for future operations.
#AceWorldNews – HELMAND – April 04 – (KP) – Two suicide bombers who had disguised themselves in women’s dress were arrested by Afghan security forces in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
Deputy interior minister Gen. Ayub Salangi said the two suicide bombers were arrested in Gresh district.
Gen Salangi also added that four anti-government armed militants were blown up by their own explosives in northern Faryab province.
He said the incident took place in Shirin Tagab district while the militants were placing improvised explosive device (IED) on roadside.
#AceWorldNews A roadside bomb in the southern Helmand province has killed six civilians, including two women and two children, a senior Afghan government official said on Friday.
The bomb ripped through a vehicle the previous night, killing everyone inside, AP quoted Mohammed Sharif, district chief of Musa Qala district in Helmand, as saying.
No one has immediately taken responsibility for the attack.
#AceWorldNews UK’s Ministry of Defence has hired a Kuwaiti firm blacklisted by the US government to sell off its leftover equipment in Afghanistan.
Agility Logistics landed an army contract to set up desert auctions for gear not valuable enough to take back.
Auctions are held in Camp Bastion in the south-eastern Helmand Province, and include Land Rovers, dumper trucks and more obscure items such as a portable laundry – but not weapons or live ammunition. By last October it emerged that some 85,000 items had already been sold.
The cost of the unsold equipment – bringing items back to the UK or renovating them, should they have not been sold – could have totalled as much as $3.3 billion, a cost deemed too high by the UK government.
The MoD issued the contracts to Agility in 2012 despite the fact that in 2009, the company was arraigned by a Grand Jury on suspicion of defrauding the US military. It was alleged that the sum to which they defrauded the government totalled some $60 million.
“As a result of this case, Agility and its subsidiaries have been placed on the US government’s Excluded Parties List.
That means they are temporarily suspended from pursuing and performing new US government contracts and task orders,” said a statement released by the company during the case.
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