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

India-China Ties

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Scotland Referendum

Scotland Referendum

Scots vote in record numbers, await independence verdict.  Full Article 

India-US Diplomacy

India-US Diplomacy

Obama to nominate Indian-American Richard Verma as India ambassador - congressional source.  Full Article 

GMR in Nepal

GMR in Nepal

Nepal clears India’s GMR plan for $1.4 bln hydroelectric plant.  Full Article 

LIC on Markets

LIC on Markets

LIC chairman bullish on Indian markets  Full Article 

India Rains

India Rains

Monsoon rains weaken as late retreat looms.  Full Article 

Ellison Quits

Ellison Quits

Oracle's Ellison steps aside, co-CEOs Catz and Hurd take over.  Full Article 

Infosys-Huawei

Infosys-Huawei

Infosys partners with China's Huawei for cloud-based services  Full Article 

Gold Outlook

Gold Outlook

Gold imports seen up, premiums likely to double on festive buying  Full Article 

Trade Dispute

Trade Dispute

U.S. to press India on trade row during Modi's Washington visit  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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