Explosion near Afganistan base kills at least 19, U.S. Vice President may have been target

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was not harmed during the suicide bomber's attack.

A suicide attack at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan at 10:30 a.m. Afghan time has left at least 19 dead reports the Associated Press. President Hamid Karzai's office said 23 people were killed and 20 were injured. Agence France-Presse has reported that at least one U.S. soldier was killed in the attack. A South Korean soldier was among those killed said South Korea's defence ministry.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to be a Taliban spokesman, said that Dick Cheney was the target of the attack. Cheney made a surprise visit to the base. He ate breakfast with Major General David Rodriguez, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and troops. Cheney had been in his room before the explosion occurred. He was quickly escorted to a nearby bomb shelter, where he remained, unharmed, until the situation settled.

Cheney told reporters traveling with him, when informed of who claimed responsibility for the attack, "I think they clearly try to find ways to question the authority of the central government," he said according to Donna Miles of the American Forces Press Service. "Striking at Bagram with a suicide bomber, I suppose, is one way to do that. But it shouldn't affect our behavior at all."

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