Korean base in Afghanistan hit by rocket attack

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Korean base in Afghanistan hit by rocket attack

A newly built Korean military base that was housing Korea’s provincial reconstruction team and civilian aid workers in Afghanistan came under a rocket attack Tuesday evening local time, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday. There were no casualties, the ministry said.

The attack came hours after Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin visited the base.

“Five rounds of rocket propelled grenades were fired toward our base in Charika at 7:30 p.m. Afghan time on Tuesday (midnight Wednesday in Korea) with two of them landing outside the base and three others inside,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the Afghan police came to the base immediately at the request of the Korean government to help stabilize the scene. The Korean and Afghan governments are conducting a joint investigation into the attack, the ministry said.

At the time, 277 Korean soldiers, along with 57 civilians and 35 police members (Koreans and Afghans), were working at the base, the ministry said. They moved there late last month.

The Korean National Defense Ministry played down any suspicion that the attack was targeting the visiting Kim. Kim on Monday embarked on a five-day field trip to Korea’s reconstruction bases overseas in Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates. According to a military source, Kim left for the UAE after the visit to the base.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]


Related Korean Article [중앙일보]

아프간 한국기지 로켓포 피격
김관진 국방, 오쉬노 부대 떠난 지 7시간 만에
5발 중 3발은 안에 떨어져 … 인명 피해 없어

아프가니스탄 파르완주 내 한국 지방재건팀(PRT)의 차리카 기지가 8일 오후 7시30분(한국시간 8일 자정)에 공격당했다. PRT 기지 내 파병 부대인 오쉬노 부대를 방문한 김관진 국방부 장관이 기지를 떠난 지 7시간 만으로, 1월 24일 우리 군의 기지 입주 후 첫 번째 공격이다. 공격 주체는 현재까지 파악되지 않고 있다.

정부 당국자는 9일 “차리카 기지에 휴대용 로켓포(RPG-7) 5발이 발사돼 그중 3발이 기지 안에 떨어졌다”며 “모두 기지 내 식당 근처 공터에 떨어져 인명피해는 없다”고 밝혔다. 이 당국자는 “우리 측 요청으로 아프간 현지 경찰이 출동해 20분 만에 상황이 종료됐다”며 “아프간 측과 공동으로 현장조사를 진행하고 있다”고 말했다. 김관진 장관은 현지시간 오전 10시30분부터 두 시간 동안 PRT 경호 임무를 맡은 오쉬노 부대를 방문했다. 이 당국자는 괴한들이 김 장관의 방문을 인지했을 가능성에 대해 “전혀 배제할 수는 없지만, 보안을 유지하기 때문에 가능성은 크지 않다”고 말했다.

http://news.joins.com/article/222/5033222.html?ctg=

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