Two killed, dozens injured in attack on U.S. base in Afghanistan

A man inspects a damaged house at the site of an attack in a U.S. military air base in Bagram.  (Photo: Reuters)

Kabul, December 14 (RHC)-- Suicide bombers have hit a key U.S. military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing two people and injuring more than 70 others, the country's Ministry of Interior said.

The Taliban said they were responsible for the attack, which targeted the Bagram airbase located north of the capital.  “First, a heavy-duty Mazda vehicle struck the wall of the American base,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman.  “Later several mujahideen equipped with light and heavy weapons were able to attack the American occupiers.”

Two attackers detonated explosive-laden vehicles near the military base, while five more opened fire.  The coalition of foreign forces in Afghanistan said in a statement that some of the fighters barricaded themselves inside a medical facility they had also attacked.

The U.S.-led military coalition said the attack was “quickly contained and repelled,” while the Resolute Support mission stated that Taliban fighters who unsuccessfully tried to breach the airfield were killed in a series of airstrikes.

“A 30-minute clash also happened between the attackers, who obviously wanted to enter the base, and foreign forces,” said Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the governor of Parwan province, which includes the Bagram district.

Speaking at a press conference U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the attack and said it wounded at least five coalition troops.  "This is precisely the kind of activity that we're working to reduce," Pompeo told reporters in Washington.

The assault comes days after The Washington Post released documents showing that the U.S. lied for two decades to the public about missteps and failures during the years-long war in Afghanistan​​​, suggesting successes that did not exist.

While earlier this week, the U.S. government resumed talks with the Taliban in Qatar in the hope to find a way out to the fighting.  The move came three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations with the insurgents after they claimed an attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier and 11 civilians, despite having already reached a draft peace deal between both sides.

The Taliban control more territory than at any time since the U.S. coalition invaded the country in 2001 to defeat them.

Edited by Ed Newman


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