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14 die as Taliban storm Afghan NATO base

Jalalabad, December 2
At least 14 persons were killed when Taliban insurgents launched a major suicide attack against a NATO base at an Afghan city airport. Several foreign troops were injured in the attack, officials said.

Nine attackers were among those killed, some blowing themselves up in two vehicles at the perimeter gate of the Jalalabad airport and others shot as they attempted to storm the base, the police said.

NATO helicopters fired on the insurgents as they followed up the car bombing with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small arms fire.

The Taliban claimed insurgents had entered the airport, which is close to the eastern border with Pakistan, 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 told AFP. “None of the attackers succeeded breaching the perimeter.

“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.

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.

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.

“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.” — AFP 





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