Canadians in Kabul Shootout!

September 23, 2011 by Adam Day

New information has just come out about last week’s attack by Afghan insurgents against the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters. Not only is the U.S. alleging that Pakistan was involved in the attack — which is a way more serious allegation than I think many in the media have realized so far — but now it turns out that Canadian soldiers were involved in the combat as well. In a  report today by Lee Berthiaume of Postmedia News, Canadian public affairs officer Captain Mark Peebles confirmed that our very own Cadpat-clad soldiers were caught in the crossfire and came to the defence of the base.

According to a Defence Department spokesman, a small number of Canadian soldiers tasked with training Afghan counterparts were arriving at NATO headquarters in Kabul when the camp was attacked by insurgents.

Capt. Mark Peebles said that during the ensuing battle, the Canadians helped Afghan security personnel and other NATO forces beat back the attack, including returning fire against insurgents in a building located nearby.

Meanwhile, after a little digging of my own, multiple sources in Kabul are telling me that the shootout at the NATO headquarters was really quite an event. At its peak, there was a huge volume of firing — some of it Canadian — going outbound toward the insurgents position in a half-constructed hotel in the near distance. Several times, two Russian-made Afghan-piloted Hind MI-35 helicopter gunships did a full cannon’s-blazing gun run right across the top of ISAF HQ towards the building. Eventually, elements of the Afghan National Police assaulted the building, ending the attack.

In any case, in my opinion the attack is mostly notable as a spectacle that re-confirms what was already known — Canadians are still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, and the war there is not over.

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