A series of bombings have signaled the beginning of a spring offensive by the Afghan resistance forces, while inflicting the greatest single-day casualties on US-led occupation forces in nearly a year.
Two separate attacks last Saturday claimed the lives of eight NATO soldiers, the deadliest day for the occupation since June of last year.
The bloodiest attack was at a desert base near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. A man wearing the uniform of the Afghan army walked into a room where about 40 US and Afghan troops were meeting and detonated an explosive vest he was wearing. Five US soldiers were killed together with four Afghan troops and an interpreter. A number of others were wounded.
A spokesman for the Taliban said that the attacker was a soldier who had been in contact with the armed resistance for a “long time” and had been assigned to the base where the bombing took place about a month ago.