ISAF

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 16, 2010) -- A vehicle filled with explosives breached a combat outpost in southern Afghanistan Sunday, killing six 101st Airborne Division Soldiers and wounding 11 others.

The casualties occurred when a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) collapsed a building on a COP still under construction in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province. A platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment shared the outpost with Afghan forces.

Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), answered questions about the attack during a teleconference Tuesday with reporters on Fort Campbell, Ky., from his headquarters at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Campbell said the vehicle was packed with an estimated 1,000 pounds of explosives, but added that the incident was still under investigation.

"The Afghan forces tried to stop him with escalation of forces," Campbell said about the suicide bomber driving the VBIED. "It got through them. It stopped right outside the COP and exploded."

The explosion blew down one of the walls of a building on the outpost, Campbell said, explaining that all of the Soldiers killed had been inside the building which collapsed.

The 11 wounded are all expected to return to duty, Campbell said.

The Soldiers at the combat outpost are "working through" their grief Campbell said, adding that he and the division's command sergeant major plan to attend a memorial service Friday at the combat outpost, located in Howz E Madad, Afghanistan.

"They're not going to let this stand between them and getting the mission done," Campbell said of the infantrymen.

"The Soldiers went right back out and did some operations to attack what they thought potentially were the guys that worked to plan this (attack)," Campbell said.

The Soldiers killed were:

-- Cpl. Sean M. Collins, 25, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii

-- Cpl. Willie A. McLawhorn Jr., 23, of Conway, N.C.

-- Spc. Patrick D. Deans, 22, of Orlando, Fla.

-- Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr., 21, of San Diego, Calif.

-- Spc. Derek T. Simonetta, 21, of Redwood City, Calif.

-- Spc. Jorge E. Villacis, 24, of Sunrise, Fla.

Page last updated Thu December 16th, 2010 at 15:31