Insurgents who attacked Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Wednesday were wearing U.S. Army-style battle fatigue uniforms, according to a U.S. military official who has seen initial eyewitness accounts of the attack.
A second U.S. military official confirmed the initial accounts but said he did not know if all of the attackers were wearing U.S.-style uniforms.
The officials did not want to be identified because of the ongoing investigation.
Neither official could say whether the uniforms were stolen, or how the insurgents came into possession of them. U.S. military-style items are available on the internet for purchase.
Attackers had AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and "typical Middle Eastern load-carrying equipment" such as ammunition belts and other military accessories, according to the first official.
The official said attackers approached the base at three points and began by firing rockets at the northeastern sector of the base. The ground attack came from the west. Attackers were on foot and also fired from at least one vehicle. Four were wearing suicide vests, according to the U.S. military, although none were able to detonate the explosives.
U.S. troops killed 16 attackers using air and ground fire.
The attack began at 3 a.m. local time with two rockets fired, with the bulk of the small-arms fighting occurring between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. A mortar damaged the base's laundry facility and slightly damaged the hospital. Sporadic small arms fire continued for three to four hours.
U.S. troops pursued insurgents outside the base. During the pursuit, one soldier stepped on an old Russian mine and had to be rescued.