- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Taliban suicide bombers hit joint base in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint U.S.-Afghan air base in eastern Afghanistan early Sunday, detonating explosives at the gate and sparking a gunbattle that lasted at least two hours, with American helicopters firing down on the militants.
The attackers and at least five Afghans were killed, officials said.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid took responsibility for the assault.
It was the largest attack on the Jalalabad air base since February, when a suicide car bombing at the gate triggered an explosion that killed nine Afghans, six of them civilians.
In Sunday's attack, two vehicles packed with explosives barreled toward the main gate of the base around 6 a.m. local time.
The first vehicle, a four-wheel-drive car, blew up at the gate, said Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.
Guards started shooting at the second vehicle before it exploded, he added. It was unclear whether the explosives were detonated by the attackers themselves or by shooting from the guards.
Two Afghan students from a private medical school were caught up in the attack and killed, as were three other Afghans working at the base, Mr. Mashreqiwal said. He did not know whether the base workers were private guards, members of the security forces or civilian employees.
Nine attackers took part in the assault in total, Mr. Mashreqiwal said, three of whom were killed in the suicide blasts and another six gunmen who died in the ensuing fighting that lasted a few hours.
Army Maj. Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the international military force in Afghanistan, said that helicopters "were deployed and used."
The NATO military coalition described the attack as a failure.
"We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this morning. None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter," German army Lt. Col. Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said in email.
Col. Messer said the fighting had ended by midmorning and that reports showed one member of the Afghan security forces was killed. Several foreign troops were wounded, but Col. Messer did not give any numbers or details.
"The final assessment of what happened [Sunday] morning is not yet complete, but initial reports indicate there were three suicide bombers," Col. Messer said.
In the south, meanwhile, a NATO service member was killed in an insurgent attack, the international coalition said in a statement. It did not provide further details.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Otter attacks, kills alligator at Florida wildlife refuge
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again