Mountainous terrain and harsh weather in remote parts of Afghanistan have proven a deadly combination for the U.S. military in its push to reduce mounting violence in the country.
On Saturday, Taliban militants attacked American and Afghan troops in the Nuristan province in eastern Afghanistan. Eight American troops and two members of the Afghan national security forces were killed, according to the Pentagon.
It was the largest number of Americans killed by hostile action in a single day since July 13, 2008, when nine troops died, according to CNN records.
The fighting was so fierce that at one point U.S. forces "had to collapse in on themselves," a U.S. military official with knowledge of the latest intelligence reports on the incident told CNN. These revelations about the battle that engulfed Forward Operating Base Keating are a further indication of how pinned down and outmanned the troops were. Watch more on the attack in rural Afghanistan »
The base was scheduled to be closed in the next few days, CNN has learned. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, wanted to cede remote outposts and consolidate troops in more populated areas to better protect Afghan civilians.
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