'Relax, Brother': Exclusive Video Shows Taliban Attack That Killed 9 U.S. Soldiers at Afghan Post

Taliban commander boasts of op that left nine U.S. soldiers dead.

ByABC News
November 12, 2009, 4:05 PM

Nov. 12, 2009 — -- It was one of the deadliest attacks of the war for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The target: a remote U.S. outpost in Wanat, Nuristan. The date: July 13, 2008.

ABC News has obtained a view of the battle unseen until now: the attack, filmed by the Taliban as they assaulted the base. The exclusive video of the attack was obtained via the NEFA Foundation.

The video begins by showing Taliban fighters walking on a mountain path. They appear relaxed and comfortable, walking through the area armed but unchallenged. They are heard chatting calmly on their radios.

"Relax, brother," says one.

"Everything is fine in my area," says another.

The night before the attack, they stop to pray. Then, as dawn breaks, the assault begins with a hail of gunfire.

According to an exclusive interview with Taliban commander Maulvi Manibullah, who claims to have organized the operation, the attack involved 150 Taliban fighters dispersed into 30 groups of five. They confronted a few dozen U.S. and Afghan soldiers.

"Residents tipped us off about the base before it opened," Manibullah claimed, "so we took positions in the area. We attacked from four sides."

Gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades set the outpost on fire. U.S. troops are pinned down around their Humvee. In the video, tracers mark their return fire.

But despite withering fire, Taliban fighters move closer, eventually right inside the camp.

"Initially, about 30 fedayeen armed with AK-47s and other weapons forced their entry into the camp and opened fire," Manibullah said. "The foreign soldiers didn't know whether the firing was coming from the inside or from outside the camp."

When the fighting finally ended that day, nine Americans were dead.