Effort in Afghanistan Undeterred, Official Says

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2011 — An attack near the U.S. Embassy and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force head­quar­ters in the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kab­ul today will not deter the Unit­ed States from its efforts in Afghanistan, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle said here.

“The insur­gents will not pre­vail,” Lit­tle told reporters. “Our resolve is unwa­ver­ing.”

A small group of insur­gents attacked near the U.S. Embassy and ISAF head­quar­ters at around 1:30 p.m. local time (5 a.m. EDT), fir­ing from out­side the com­pound using small arms and rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, offi­cials said.

Afghan and coali­tion forces imme­di­ate­ly respond­ed to the attack, and still are on the scene. Coali­tion forces are pro­vid­ing air sup­port.

“The tran­si­tion [to Afghan respon­si­bil­i­ty for secu­ri­ty] remains on track,” he said. “Our com­mit­ment to the peo­ple of Afghanistan and to build­ing the capac­i­ty of the Afghan Nation­al Army, the Afghan Nation­al Police and oth­er ele­ments of the Afghan secu­ri­ty forces remains stead­fast.”

Mean­while, CIA Direc­tor David H. Petraeus offered an update on the attack ear­li­er today in tes­ti­mo­ny before a joint hear­ing of the House and Sen­ate intel­li­gence com­mit­tees.

“I talked to Ambas­sador [Ryan C.] Crock­er a cou­ple of hours ago. … He report­ed that all embassy mem­bers are account­ed for, [and] there have been no injuries to any embassy mem­bers,” he said.

Four Afghan cit­i­zens were injured � “three of those very light­ly” — when a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade hit an old chancery build­ing, he said, adding that one girl need­ed to go to the hos­pi­tal in the ISAF com­pound.

In a state­ment issued three hours after the attack began, offi­cials said no ISAF casu­al­ties were report­ed.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)