Afghanistan: Suicide bomber strikes near US air base


Afghan officials said the attackers had “obviously wanted to enter the base,” the largest of its kind in the country. NATO’s support mission said the deadly attack was “quickly contained and repelled.”

A suicide attack on Wednesday killed at least one person and injured more than 50 others near Bagram Air Base, the largest US military facility in Afghanistan.

Initial reports suggested the attack had targeted the military base. Afghan officials later said the attack struck a medical facility under construction near the base, triggering clashes between additional assailants and international forces.

“A 30-minute clash also happened between the attackers, who obviously wanted to enter the base, and foreign forces,” Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the governor of Parwan province, told Reuters news agency.

The NATO-led mission Resolute Support said the attack was “quickly contained and repelled … but the future medical facility was badly damaged.”

No end in sight

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, although the Taliban and so-called “Islamic State” militant groups frequently stage attacks against foreign targets.

Washington has tried to revive talks with the Taliban in a bid to end the war in Afghanistan, now in its 18th year.

The US toppled the Taliban government in 2001 after the militant group refused to hand over then-al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

According to the Washington Post, which had obtained US government documents, on Monday revealed in a report that US officials have repeatedly misled the American public on the failures of the war with “rosy pronouncements they knew to be false.”

ls/stb (AP, Reuters, dpa)



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