Factbox: Kandahar Airfield a Common Target of Taliban Attacks

Yahoo Contributor Network

At Kandahar Airfield today a suicide bomber drove a car outside of one of the gates and set off explosives killing seven civilians, according to the Associated Press. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which was set off just as vehicles that U.S. forces usually drive were exiting the base. However, no U.S. forces were hit. Besides the seven civilians that were killed, eight civilians were also injured in the attack. This is the second suicide attack this week in southern Afghanistan. The base that was targeted, Kandahar Airfield is a hot zone for attacks; here is some more information about the base.

* The official name for this base is Kandahar International Airfield, according to CoBases.

* The base was built by the United States in the 1960s.

* It is located in the southeastern part of Afghanistan, according to the 451stAir Expeditionary Wing.

* It cost $15 million dollars to build and was used a refueling station for American planes.

* It was thought to have been built in case the U.S. and the Soviet Union went to war, according to Globalsecurity.org.

* The Soviet Union took over the base in 1979, but it came under disrepair.

* The Base came under attack during the Soviet-Afghan War and has been severely damaged due to all of the attacks since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom.

* The base continues to be damaged by the frequent number of attacks that occur here.

* In 2006, two attacks occurred on the base within days of each other. The second one was rocket propelled grenades that were launched. The pilot of an Apache helicopter who was attempting to find the insurgents crashed and was killed in the attack, according to Canada.com. Ten other soldiers were injured in first attack that week.

* The usual type of rocket that is used in the attacks on Kandahar Airfield are 107-millimetre which are made in either China or Russia. The range for these rockets is only about ten kilometers, according to Canada.com.

* In 2009, another rocket attack killed one civilian and wounded six. That attack was the first death related to the common rocket attacks since 2006, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

* The rocket attacks have become a common occurrence on the base, and the troops have been prepared for what to do in the event that another one is launched, according to MSNBC.

* Canadian forces have mostly had control of Kandahar since 2006, but were sent U.S. troops as reinforcements in 2009, according to thespec.com.

* The Canadians officially left Kandahar in December 2011.

* Now, the base is currently being run by NATO forces.

Lauren Finnegan graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor's degree in political science and has an insider's perspective on the military because of her role as a military wife who has lived around the country.

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