Bloody Wednesday: Eight CIA Agents, Five Canadians Killed by Afghan Taliban
December 31, 2009
(ChattahBox)—The deadly mire that is Afghanistan, took the lives of eight American CIA agents, four Canadian soldiers and one Canadian journalist on Wednesday during two separate blasts, which the Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the next day. In addition to the deaths, six Americans and five Canadians were injured. The CIA employees were killed by a suicide bomber, whom the Taliban claims was a uniformed Afghan National Army soldier. The Canadians were struck by a roadside bomb, which the Taliban said was exploded near a bridge in Kandahar province. The deaths of the eight CIA agents is the single worst incident, since eight CIA employees, were killed in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983. And for the Canadians; it was the worst single day for Afghanistan casualties, since six soldiers were killed on July 4, 2007.
The deaths of the CIA employees occurred when a man walked into a gym facility at Forward Operating Base Chapman and detonated a suicide vest. It’s not known how the bomber got past security, but unconfirmed reports suggests the bomber was an Afghan soldier. A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Joint Command would not comment on the claim that an Afghan National Army soldier was responsible for the attack.
On the same day, Canadian soldiers and a young female journalist, Michelle Lang, 34, with the Calgary Herald were traveling in an armored vehicle in southern Afghanistan, when they were struck by an improvised explosive device. The soldiers were on a community security patrol to gather information on the pattern of life to maintain security in the area. And Lang was reporting on the activities of Canadian troops in Afghanistan for her paper. She was on a six-week assignment and just arrived to the region on Dec. 11. Lang is the first Canadian journalist to be killed on a war assignment to Afghanistan and the first known casualty for the Calgary Herald.
The Canadian deaths bring the number of Canadian military fatalities in Afghanistan to 138. Since the CIA’s inception in 1947, 90 employees have been killed in the line of duty. Wednesday’s deaths will increase the number of CIA casualties to 98.