US military commander’s plane damaged in Afghan attack

August 21st, 2012 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Aug 21 (IANS) Rockets fired by insurgents from outside a heavily fortified airfield in Afghanistan damaged the transport plane of Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the New York Times reported.

The C-17 plane was parked at Bagram base, 50 km north of Kabul, Monday night or early Tuesday, American and NATO officials said.

Dempsey later left Afghanistan on a different aircraft as his plane was seriously damaged.

Officials said Dempsey was not hurt and was nowhere near the plane during the attack, but two service members who work on aircraft maintenance suffered minor wounds from the explosions.

The airplane was not directly hit by the rockets but was damaged by flying shrapnel, they said.

Dempsey was visiting Kabul to talk to military leaders, including Gen. John R. Allen, the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, about issues including the rising problem of Afghan soldiers and police officers killing NATO troops.

Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the US-led NATO military command in Kabul said there was no indication that the insurgents’ intent was to attack Dempsey or that they even knew that the C-17 was the aircraft he was using.

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