World

Attack on U.S. base in Afghanistan leaves 2 dead, at least 70 wounded

Suicide bombers struck the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing two people and injuring scores of others in a major attack that could derail plans to revive peace talks between the United States and the Taliban.

Taliban claims responsibility for suicide bomb attack

A police officer carries his injured daughter after an attack near the Bagram Air Base Wednesday. (Rahmat Gul/The Associated Press)

Suicide bombers struck the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing two people and injuring scores of others in a major attack that could derail plans to revive peace talks between the United States and the Taliban.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck the Bagram air base north of Kabul.

"First, a heavy-duty Mazda vehicle struck the wall of the American base," said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman. "Later several mujahideen equipped with light and heavy weapons were able to attack the American occupiers."

The U.S.-led military coalition said the attack was "quickly contained and repelled." Taliban fighters who unsuccessfully tried to breach the airfield were killed in a series of airstrikes, the Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

Two civilians were killed and more than 70 injured during the attack, the Ministry of the Interior said.

A boy inspects his damaged home after after the attack. The powerful suicide bombing appeared to target an under-construction medical facility near the Bagram Air Base. (Rahmat Gul/The Associated Press)

Five servicemen from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which is part of the coalition, were among those injured, the country's defence ministry said in a statement. The majority of casualties were Afghan.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking at a news conference, condemned the attack that he said wounded at least five coalition troops.

"A 30-minute clash also happened between the attackers, who obviously wanted to enter the base, and foreign forces," said Wahida Shahkar, a spokesperson for the governor of Parwan province, which includes the Bagram district.

Two attackers detonated vehicles laden with explosives at the southern entrance to the base, while five more opened fire. Some of the fighters barricaded themselves inside a medical facility they had attacked, the coalition of foreign forces in Afghanistan said in a statement.

Afghan security forces arrive at the site of an attack in a U.S. military air base in Bagram Wednesday. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban in September after an attack by the group killed an American soldier. The Taliban controls more territory than at any point since being ousted from power by Afghan foes with U.S. air support in 2001.