BAGRAM, Afghanistan – A U.S. special forces compound came under grenade and small arms fire near the village where an American airstrike killed civilians at a wedding celebration, U.S. officials said Friday.
There were no casualties in the attack, which occurred late Thursday near Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province, U.S. military spokesman Col. Roger King said. Afghan soldiers working alongside special forces returned fire after the brief attack, King added.
Hostility toward U.S. military operations has increased in southern and central Afghanistan since the July 1 airstrike, in which an AC-130 gunship raked a compound where members of an extended family were celebrating an upcoming wedding.
Afghan officials said 48 people were killed, including 25 partygoers who came from a family close to President Hamid Karzai. Another 170 people were injured. Afghan authorities said most of the dead were women and children.
Since the airstrike, American forces have come under attack several times in southern and central Afghanistan.
The day after the airstrike, a U.S. military convoy was fired on in Kandahar as troops were returning from the hospital where victims of the U.S. attack were undergoing treatment. One solider was shot in the foot, but the assailant escaped.
U.S. special forces hunting Al Qaeda and Taliban holdouts near the Pakistani border came under rocket fire a few days later near the eastern town of Khost.
On Thursday, a U.S. soldier was hit by a suspected sniper's bullet while on patrol near Kandahar. The bullet skimmed off the soldier's helmet, but the impact gave him a concussion.
Nevertheless, King said he did not believe the level of violence against Americans and coalition forces had increased since the airstrike.
"I don't see any increase necessarily when you look across the country," King told reports at Bagram air base, the U.S. headquarters for the war in Afghanistan.
"This is a dangerous place. We are in the middle of war. People do get shot at, but I don't necessarily say that there's been an increase or decrease in enemy activity over the short term," he said.
Elsewhere, U.S. demolition teams destroyed a massive cache of old weapons — detonating a ton of ammunition, mines and rockets in the town of Organ-E, King said. They destroyed about 1 million rounds of heavy machine gun ammunition, he said.