Taliban Kill 5 in Suicide Blast at US-Afghan Base

Hit sparks 2-hour gunbattle in Jalalabad

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 2, 2012 6:12 AM CST

(Newser) – Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan air base in eastern Afghanistan early today, detonating explosives at the gate and sparking a gunbattle that lasted at least two hours with American helicopters firing down at militants before the attackers were defeated. The attackers and at least five Afghans were killed, officials said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility. It was the largest clash at the Jalalabad air base since February, when a suicide car bombing at the gate killed nine Afghans.

Two vehicles packed with explosives barreled toward the base's main gate around 6am local time. The first vehicle blew up at the gate, said a provincial police spokesman. Guards started shooting at the second vehicle before it too exploded, he added. Two Afghan students were caught up in the attack and killed, as were three other Afghans working at the base. Nine attackers took part in the assault in total, three of whom were killed in the suicide blasts and another six gunmen who died in the ensuing fighting that lasted a few hours. "The final assessment of what happened this morning is not yet complete, but initial reports indicate there were three suicide bombers," said a military coalition spokesman.

Bodies of Afghan civilians, killed during an attack by Taliban suicide bombers on a joint US-Afghan air base, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Bodies of Afghan civilians, killed during an attack by Taliban suicide bombers on a joint US-Afghan air base, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasrullah Khan)
Afghan security forces patrol the site where Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Afghan security forces patrol the site where Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasrullah Khan)
Afghan security forces block the road where Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Afghan security forces block the road where Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasrullah Khan)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
35%
10%
4%
31%
6%
13%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!