Militants Strike, Damage U.S. Army Chief's Plane in Afghanistan Airbase

Coalition spokesman says Gen. Martin Dempsey 'was nowhere near' the craft when it was hit by two rockets; two maintenance workers wounded.

Militants fired rockets into a U.S. base in Afghanistan and damaged the plane of the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff while he was on a visit, but the general was not near the aircraft, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition said Tuesday.

The attack on the plane of U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey represented yet another propaganda coup for the Taliban after they claimed to have shot down a U.S.¬ helicopter last week. It also followed a string of disturbing killings of U.S. military trainers by their Afghan partners or militants dressed in Afghan uniforms.

Two maintenance workers were slightly injured by shrapnel from the two rockets that were fired into Bagram Air Field outside Kabul on Monday night, coalition spokesman Jamie Graybeal said.

Dempsey "was nowhere near" the plane when the rockets hit near where the aircraft was parked, Graybeal said.

The spokesman added that Dempsey had finished his mission in Afghanistan and had left by Tuesday morning, though it was unclear what plane he flew out on or how badly the targeted plane was damaged.

Dempsey was in Afghanistan to discuss the state of the war after a particularly deadly few weeks for Americans in the more than 10-year-old Afghan war.