News - Afghanistan
The Taliban have launched an early morning attack on the joint US military base and city airport in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, killing at least two Afghan civilians and three Afghan soldiers, officials said Sunday.
Two of the insurgents suicide-bombed the main gate of the base – also the entrance to Jalalabad airport – by blowing up their explosive-laden vehicles at around 5:45am local time. This paved the way for seven other armed insurgents to start an hours-long battle with the Afghan and foreign troops stationed there, according to provincial deputy security officer Abdul Jalil Shamal.
Two civilians and at least three Afghan special forces soldiers were killed, while another three civilians and 14 security forces were injured, acting deputy provincial governor Abdullah Wafa told TOLOnews.
The force of the explosions is reported to have blown out windows in the area.
The attackers, who were armed with guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, were all killed by 8:00am, officials said.
Some local residents in the area told TOLOnews that helicopters had fired on the insurgents, some of whom were wearing Afghan and Nato military uniforms.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement saying that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the entrance, clearing the way for several others to make their way onto the base.
A spokesperson for Isaf told the AFP news agency that "none of the attackers succeeded breaching the perimetre".
The military base in Jalalabad has been targeted by Taliban militants several times in the past few years.
It comes as Nato-led forces gradually hand full security of the country to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.
Around 66,000 US troops and 37,000 troops of other nations are fighting insurgents alongside the Afghan forces in Afghanistan.
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