NATO military leaders say troops have repulsed a commando style-attack by Taliban insurgents on one of the alliance’s largest bases in eastern Afghanistan.
The militants used a suicide car bomber to blow up a gate at an airfield in Jalalabad, near the Pakistani border. At least eight guerrillas are reported to have been killed in an ensuing gunbattle which lasted for half an hour.
But the Taliban claim they shot dead more than 30 foreign and Afghan troops.
It comes a day after the man expected to take command of Western forces warned that the campaign is set to intensify.
“My sense is that the tough fighting will continue. Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months, as we take away the enemy’s safe havens and reduce the enemy’s freedom of action. The insurgents will fight back,” said General David Petraeus.
The driver of a UN vehicle was hurt in an ambush yesterday. It is another sign of what are now daily attacks in Afghanistan’s southern region.
Taliban attack key Afghan NATO base