KABUL, Sept 15 Afghanistan's Taliban claimed
responsibility on Saturday for an attack on a base which U.S.
officials said killed two American Marines, saying it was in
response to a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad.
Camp Bastion, in southern Helmand province, came under
mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire late on
Friday in an attack in which several servicemen were wounded.
"The aim of this attack was revenge against Americans for
the anti-Prophet movie," said Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf.
U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to "stand fast"
against violence which has spread since the amateurish film of
obscure origin triggered an attack on the U.S. consulate in the
Libyan city of Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three
other Americans on Sept. 11, the eleventh anniversary of the al
Qaeda attacks on the United States.
Britain's Prince Harry was at Camp Bastion at the time of
Friday's attack, but was unharmed.
Earlier this week, the Afghan Taliban said they were doing
everything in their power to either kill or kidnap Queen
Elizabeth's grandson in what they dubbed their "Harry
"Prince Harry was never in any danger," Martyn Crighton, a
spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF), said, adding that it would investigate whether his
presence on the base had motivated the attack.
Britain's Sky News said a Taliban commander had told the
broadcaster that Prince Harry was main target of the attack.
Sky's Kabul correspondent said she checked with a Taliban
spokesman, who said the attack on Bastion was indeed in revenge
for the Islam film, but that Bastion was chosen as the target
because Prince Harry was there.
Sky's correspondent in Cairo said he had received a fresh
statement from a "senior Taliban spokesman/commander", saying
that the confusion over the claims was because there were two
Taliban groups attacking the base.
"After saying this attack was mounted in reaction to the
video on Islam, it is entirely predictable that the Taliban have
changed their tune to say it was aimed at Captain Wales," a
British defence source said on Saturday, referring to Prince
"The insurgents who mounted this attack, most of whom were
killed by ISAF, were nowhere near Captain Wales, who, with other
UK and ISAF personnel, was under lockdown."
ISAF has not confirmed the nationality of the two people
killed in the attack on the base.
A spokesman for the Helmand governor said 17 bodies had been
discovered and they were all thought to be insurgents killed in
In a separate attack in Helmand province on Friday, a
roadside bomb killed a British soldier, the Ministry of Defence
It was not clear whether the explosion was related to a
report by Helmand's governor that a roadside bomb had killed 12
civilians, including women and children, when their vehicle
drove over an explosive device in the same area.