2 killed in Bagram Air Base attack, Taliban claim credit

Published By ITCT News Desk On : December 12, 2019
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Image from near Bagram Air Base shows several destroyed structures.

At least two people including a woman were killed and at least 80 people were wounded on Wednesday by two powerful blasts outside Bagram airfield, a key US base in Afghanistan, officials said.

Photo from near Bagram Air Base shows a large plume of smoke rising in the sky

 

Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the militant group was behind the attack, adding that the attackers included suicide bombers, who were armed with light and heavy machine guns.

 

Detailed Taliban statement claiming the attack

English version of Taliban statement

 

The blasts were followed by a lengthy gun battle involving Afghan and US-led troops outside the airbase.

Five Georgian troops were also injured in the attack, according to Georgia’s Defense Ministry.

Abdul Shokor Qodousi, district chief of Bagram, told reporters that part of the wall of the heavily fortified base was damaged by the blasts, which were caused by two suicide bombers in vehicles.

“More than 50 Afghans, many of them civilians — including women and children — have been wounded by the debris and glasses of houses damaged by the blasts,” he said.

A spokesman for the governor of Parwarn province, of which Bagram is part of, said the target of the attack appeared to have been a convoy of foreign troops that was passing on a road to the south of the base at dawn.

“One group of assailants then entered a medical clinic under construction and have been fighting with troops outside,” the spokesman for governor Wahida Shahkar told said.

Radio Parwan repeatedly called on locals to refrain from visiting the clinic due to the ongoing operation by local forces, adding that the target of the attack was the Bagram airbase. The US-led coalition in a statement confirmed the reports. It said the strike was “repelled” and that there were no casualties among US or coalition troops.

A series of airstrikes were called in following the failed attempt by the Taliban to breach the base, according to a Resolute Support spokesman.

 

U.S. and Afghan forces were pulled into a nine-to 10-hour firefight after the suicide bombings via two vehicle-borne bombs.

Taliban fighters then barricaded themselves inside the medical facility they attacked and were hit with a series of airstrikes Wednesday evening, according to a Resolute Support spokesman.

The medical facility was located outside Bagram and was under renovation at the time to provide care for local Afghans.

The two vehicle bombs used by the seven or eight militants left civilians, including women and children wounded mostly by broken glass and debris.

A nearby mosque was also severely damaged in the blast wave.

The base has long been a target for militants. In April, a bomb blast outside the base killed three American service members and injured three others.

The attack occurred days after the U.S. resumed official talks with the Taliban on a prospective peace deal.

The talks, which had paused in early September, focused on reducing violence and paving the way for negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

 

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