KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The deaths of seven CIA employees in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan will be avenged, a U.S. intelligence official swore.
Two of the people killed were contractors with the private security firm Xe, once known as Blackwater, an ex-intelligence officer told CNN in an article published Friday. The dead included both CIA employees and contractors.
Six other people were injured.
"This attack will be avenged through successful, aggressive counter-terrorism operations," the officer said.
The suicide bombing occurred Wednesday when an Afghan suicide attacker detonated himself inside Forward Operating Base Chapman, used as a CIA operations and surveillance center. The base is in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan.
Still unknown is how the bomber eluded security to detonate his load inside what one intelligence officer described as a fitness area.
The Taliban Thursday claimed responsibility for the attack and said the bomber was in the Afghan Nation Army.
Flags at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., were flown at half-staff Thursday.
President Barack Obama and CIA Director Leon Panetta in separate statements praised the victims for working in harm's way to protect the American way of life.
A U.S. intelligence official declined to discuss the specific mission of the base, but told CNN the facility was critical to CIA operations and a "hub of activity."