Militants attack US base in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan – A group of suicide bombers attacked a U.S. base near the border with Pakistan on Monday morning, leading to multiple explosions, a gunfight and the closure of a key road used by NATO supply trucks, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the strike in the Torkham area. In a statement, NATO confirmed “a series of explosions” in the area but said none of its personnel were killed. The military alliance does not release information on any of its troops who may have been wounded.
Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said several suicide bombers staged the attack, and that Afghan and U.S. forces have been exchanging gunfire with the militants. He said NATO helicopters were flying over the base.
The highway between Jalalabad city and Torkham, an important route for NATO supply trucks, has been closed, Abdulzai said.
Militants on both sides of the Afghan border have frequently targeted the supply line, leading NATO to shift much of its supply delivery toward routes from Central Asian states instead of through Pakistan.
In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the insurgent group was behind Monday morning’s attack, and claimed they had destroyed several tanks in the process — an assertion that could not be confirmed.
The Taliban have escalated their attacks in recent weeks, a surge that comes as U.S.-led foreign troops reduce their presence in Afghanistan ahead of a full withdrawal by the end of next year.