Asia

Afghanistan Taliban attack US base in Jalalabad

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Media captionThe BBC's Orla Guerin says the incident involved multiple suicide attackers

Taliban suicide bombers have killed four Afghan soldiers and wounded Nato troops in an attack on a joint US-Afghan airbase in eastern Afghanistan.

A local police chief told the BBC that two civilians had been also killed in the attack on the base in Jalalabad.

Afghan intelligence officials said nine suicide attackers had been involved in the assault, and all had been killed.

Nato said the attackers had failed to penetrate the base. It is unclear how many of its troops were injured.

The BBC's Orla Guerin in Kabul said the attack appeared "co-ordinated and complex".

She added that this was not the first time the Taliban had targeted the air base, which is used by US and Nato forces. In February Taliban killed nine people in a similar attack.

Nato is gradually handing security over to Afghan forces ahead of the departure of most combat troops in 2014.

Counter claims

The Afghan officials said the first four attackers had arrived in explosive-laden cars and targeted different entrances to the airfield early on Sunday, Others who had followed on foot battled security guards.

The force of the explosions is reported to have blown out windows a kilometre away.

Nato forces then responded with helicopters, and both Nato and Afghan officials said the attackers had not managed to enter the base itself.

Local police told Reuters news agency that bodies in Afghan police and military uniforms were scattered around the entrance to the base, but it was unclear whether they were Taliban attackers in disguise.

In addition to the member of the Afghan security forces who was killed, several Nato troops were wounded, a Nato spokesman said.

The Taliban later said they had carried out the attack.

The insurgents have been battling Nato and Afghan troops for 11 years and still control parts of the east and south.

Nato - which currently has some 130,000 troops in Afghanistan - is due to withdraw combat forces in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with only training troops remaining.