Taliban fighters pray at an undisclosed location in the Laghman province in southern Afghanistan, November 23 2006.
Taliban in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nato base on January 24 2010 in which four Bulgarian military personnel were wounded, with the Taliban saying that visiting Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Mladenov was the main target of the attack.
However, speaking to Bulgarian National Television on January 25 2010 on his return to Sofia, Mladenov – who is the country’s Foreign Minister-designate – cast doubt on the veracity of the Taliban claims.
News agency AFP, quoting a US-based monitoring group SITE, said that Mladenov had been the main target. On the internet, the Taliban said that six rockets had fallen inside the Kandahar airport area and one had fallen 200m from (Mladenov’s) location.
Mladenov told BNT that the claim by the Taliban was "absurd", and questioned the veracity of their claims because the details they gave were out of kilter with the actual facts of the event.
On January 25, the three Bulgarian military personnel who were seriously injured during the rocket attack were flown to Germany for treatment at the Landstuhl military hospital.
Mladenov said that the three were in stable condition at the moment.
He said that during the incident, which involved a 107mm Chinese-made rocket, he and others had taken cover. Within about 15 minutes of the attack, the injured were being casevaced for medical treatment, according to Mladenov.
Mladenov said that the claims were absurd because there had not been six rockets, as claimed by the Taliban, but only one, of a type that did not have an accurate guidance system.