Suicide bombers strike US base in Afghanistan

Suicide bombers strike US base in Afghanistan

Suicide bombers strike US base in Afghanistan

Updated 2 December 2012, 21:07 AEDT

Officials in Afghanistan say five people have been killed, and several foreign troops injured, in a sustained Taliban attack on a NATO base.

Officials in Afghanistan say five people have been killed, and several foreign troops injured, in a major attack against a NATO base at an Afghan city airport.

Police say nine attackers have also been killed, some blowing themselves up in two vehicles and others shot as they attempted to storm the military base.

NATO helicopters fired on the insurgents as they followed up a car bombing at the perimeter gate of the Jalalabad airbase with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small arms fire.

The Taliban claimed insurgents had entered the airport, but this was denied by NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

"Insurgents including suicide bombers attacked the perimeter of the Jalalabad air base this morning," a spokesman said.

"I can confirm that there were helicopters involved in the coalition response to the attack.

"A number of ISAF forces were wounded," he added, noting that it was ISAF policy not to disclose the number of those injured.

Three Afghan guards were killed and 14 wounded, while two civilians also died and four others were injured, police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal told AFP news agency.

The airport complex has multiple layers of security, with the NATO base set well back from the first entrance, which an Afghan official said had been breached.

"First there was a car bombing next to the entrance followed by gun attack by the insurgents," a senior Afghan security official said.

"They couldn't reach NATO forces and they were killed in the area between the first and second gates."

The Taliban claimed their militants had entered the airport and caused heavy casualties.

In February, a suicide car bomber killed nine people at the base, almost exclusively used by NATO and the US military.

The US and Afghan government are scrambling to improve security before most NATO combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014.

AFP

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