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IPFS News Link • Afghanistan

Suicide Attack Kills at Least 4 Americans at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan

• by Courtney Kube, Ahmed Mengli and Hans Nichols

Another 16 U.S. service members and one Polish soldier were injured in the blast at Bagram Airfield, Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirmed in a statement.

"Force protection is always a top priority for us in Afghanistan, and we will investigate this tragedy to determine any steps we can take to improve it," Carter said. "For those who carried out this attack, my message is simple. We will not be deterred in our mission to protect our homeland and help Afghanistan secure its own future."

The attack occurred around 5:30 a.m. local time as people were gathering for a post-Veterans Day fun run.

There was no immediate word on the identities of the victims. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, according to The Associated Press, which quoted a spokesman who said they have been planning the coordinated carnage for four months.

The suicide bomber chose the time and location because he "was looking for an opportunity to do the most damage," a senior U.S. military official told NBC News.