Suicide bombers attack U.S. base in Afghanistan

JALALABAD, Afghanistan Sun Dec 2, 2012 3:47pm IST

Afghan security forces inspect the site of an attack in Jalalabad December 2, 2012. REUTERS/ Parwiz

Afghan security forces inspect the site of an attack in Jalalabad December 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/ Parwiz

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Suicide attackers detonated bombs and fired rockets outside a major U.S. base in Afghanistan on Sunday, killing five people in a brazen operation that highlighted the country's security challenges ahead of the 2014 NATO combat troop pullout.

Local police officials said bodies in Afghan police and military uniforms were scattered around the entrance of the airfield in the eastern city of Jalalabad after a two-hour battle. A Taliban spokesman said the militant group had launched the 6 a.m. assault.

The Taliban, who have been fighting U.S.-led NATO and Afghan forces for more than a decade, sometimes dress in uniforms for attacks.

Two suicide bombers died after blowing themselves up in cars, said Nasir Ahmad Safi, a spokesman for the provincial government.

Seven other bombers were killed in the a gunbattle with Afghan and coalition forces. Three Afghan soldiers and two civilians also died, said Safi.

U.S. helicopters circled overhead.

"There were multiple suicide bombers involved," said Major Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Several coalition troops were wounded, he said.

The United States and Afghan government are scrambling to stabilise Afghanistan before most NATO combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014 and hand over security to Afghan forces.

Some Afghans doubt government security forces will be able to defend the country against any Taliban attempts to seize power again after foreign troops withdraw. There are also growing fears that a civil war will erupt.

President Hamid Karzai's government say Afghan security forces have made good progress.

Afghanistan's defence ministry spokesman said there were rocket attacks at the Jalalabad base followed by suicide bombings.

In a text message, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said : "This morning at 6 a.m. a number of our devotees attacked the major U.S. Base in Jalalabad city and so far have brought heavy casualties to the enemy."

In February, a suicide car bomber killed nine people at the base, almost exclusively used by NATO and the U.S. military. (Additional reporting by Martin Petty in KABUL; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fuelling Change

REUTERS SHOWCASE

NSEL Fraud

NSEL Fraud

Govt orders Financial Tech to absorb NSEL, liabilities  Full Article 

Stalemate

Stalemate

WTO prepares for crisis talks as India keeps veto on global deal.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Smartphone repair company B2X steps up expansion with Indian deal.  Full Article 

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

HDFC Bank eyes pickup in corporate credit.  Full Article 

JLR China

JLR China

JLR sees 20 percent growth in China sales this year - exec  Full Article 

Iron Ore Imports

Iron Ore Imports

JSW Steel to boost iron ore imports by up to 80 percent.  Full Article 

Pollution Levels

Pollution Levels

Delhi braces for worst air quality this Diwali week.  Full Article 

Remembering Margerie

Remembering Margerie

Total’s "Big Moustache"- bon vivant, deal-maker and risk-taker .  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage