Taliban raid foreign airbase in east Afghanistan

Taliban raid foreign airbase in east Afghanistan
# 30 June 2010 21:57 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Foreign forces repulsed a Taliban raid against their biggest airbase in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the NATO-led alliance said, killing several insurgents while suffering two casualties, APA reports quoting “Reuters”.
A suicide car bomber blew up a gate at the base in Jalalabad, near the border with Pakistan, and insurgents launched an attack with rocket propelled grenades and small arms.
June has been the bloodiest month of the near nine-year-old war for foreign troops, with over 100 killed. The rising toll comes amid a troop surge for an operation that seeks to take on the Taliban in their spiritual heartland.
A Taliban spokesman said six suicide commandos were involved in the Jalalabad attack, which he said killed more than 20 foreign and Afghan forces.
The insurgents frequently inflate battlefield successes while playing down their losses and independent verification of either side’s claims is often impossible.
ISAF said the initial blast wounded two members of the foreign and Afghan force at the base. In a statement later, the alliance said one of its soldiers was killed in a small arms fire attack in the east, but did not give further details.
"The airfield’s perimeter was not breached and several insurgents were killed during the attack," the alliance said.
Since being overthrown in 2001 the Taliban have gone from strength to strength and are engaged daily in clashes with Afghan security forces and the 150,000 foreign troops. Separately on Wednesday, a woman and a man were wounded in a premature blast by a suicide bomber outside a clinic in southwestern Nimroz province, the interior ministry said.
Four police and seven employees of a security firm were killed in two separate attacks in different parts of southern Afghanistan, the ministry said.
Meanwhile a joint Afghan-coalition force discovered 1,750 kg (3,850 lbs) of ammonium nitrate in Helmand province and arrested two people at the site.
The fertilizer is frequently used to make improvised explosive devices such as roadside bombs, which have taken a punishing toll on foreign and Afghan forces as well as ordinary civilians.