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Taliban attacks U.S. Bagram base

Smoke billows up from the site soon after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday May 18, 2010.

Smoke billows up from the site soon after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday May 18, 2010.  

Taliban insurgents launched a brazen assault on the American base at Bagram on Wednesday morning, sparking a large and confusing gunbattle that left at least five American soldiers wounded and seven guerillas dead.

Taliban leaders claimed that seven suicide bombers had blown themselves up at the gates of the base, clearing the way for more than 20 other fighters to get inside.

The Taliban reports appeared exaggerated, as they often are. But American officials confirmed that the base, one of the largest in Afghanistan, had come under an ambitious and unusual assault.

An American official said the base had come under attack by as many as 30 insurgents. Another American spokesman, Col. Wayne Shanks, said no suicide bombs had exploded and that no insurgents had entered the base.

“At no time were Bagram defences breached,'' he said.

American officials said the attack had ended by midmorning.

Still, details were sketchy. The main road leading to the base was sealed, and helicopters could be seen flying over the area.

Local residents reported hearing gunfire around the base.

The Bagram base, located about 80 km north of Kabul, the capital, is one of the main hubs of the American campaign in Afghanistan.

Bagram serves as the headquarters for the military's efforts in eastern Afghanistan. It is ringed by several layers of defences.

The assault on Bagram comes on the heels of an attack on Tuesday by a suicide bomber in Kabul, who rammed an explosives-laden bus into an American convoy, killing 18 people, including five American soldiers and a Canadian officer. — New York Times News Service

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:04:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Taliban-attacks-U.S.-Bagram-base/article16302042.ece

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