Gunfire, explosions reported at US/NATO Afghan air base

Mustafa Kazemi, a freelance war correspondent working in Afghanistan, tweeted early Sunday that “dense gunfight [is] ongoing between insurgents & possibly U.S. & Afghan forces at Jalalabad Air Base main gate.”

At this time (early Sunday morning), other than a very spotty, four-sentence article in the Voice of America News, the only information on the attack seems to be coming via Twitter. The VOA report reads as follows:

Afghan officials say a series of explosions and gunfire have rocked a U.S. and NATO military air base in eastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack Sunday in Jalalabad.
There was no immediate information about casualties.
Details about the ongoing assault are still emerging.

Reuters news agency of India added that according to a Reuters witness, the gunfire was accompanied by two explosions.

Jalalabad aeroport attacks

Jalalabad air base

Kazemi described Jalalabad Air Base as “a station for U.S. Army Infantry & U.S. Army Special Forces as well as a unit of Navy SEALs in East of Afghanistan.”

Khalid Khan, a self-described “cyber journalist, working with Pakistan’s largest media group” out of Karachi, Pakistan, added that the Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, using suicide bombers in their effort. The Taliban also claimed that several of the insurgents were successful in entering the air base itself.

BBC reporter Bilal Sarwary, working out of Afghanistan, added that the base sent several helicopters in the air to support the ground forces warding off the attack. He also reported that “Afghan intelligence officials in Jalalabad tells BBC, 3 Afghan guards for US military from Shaheen battalion were killed &11 were injured.”

Contrary to Sarwary’s tweet, Kazemi mentions no deaths other than those of the Taliban insurgents: “ISAF Joint Command says the Afghan Forces were wounded while defending the Air Base perimeter. All attackers are reported killed.” ISAF stands for “International Security Assistance Force.”

Jalalabad Air Base has been the site of many previous attacks, including at least two in 2010 committed by Taliban insurgent forces.

UPDATE: The New York Times has since picked up the story via the Associated Press and reports that the exchange of gunfire “killed at least one member of the Afghan security forces” according to allied coalition officials.

Hat tip to Twitchy.com.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Rich

    JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Suicide attackers detonated bombs and fired rockets outside a major U.S. base in Afghanistan on Sunday, killing five people in a brazen operation that highlighted the country's security challenges ahead of the 2014 NATO combat troop pullout. Local police officials said bodies in Afghan police and military uniforms were scattered around the entrance of the airfield in the eastern city of Jalalabad after a two-hour battle. A Taliban spokesman said the militant group had launched the 6 a.m. assault. The Taliban, who have been fighting U.S.-led NATO and Afghan forces for more than a decade, sometimes dress in uniforms for attacks.

    Two suicide bombers died after blowing themselves up in cars, said Nasir Ahmad Safi, a spokesman for the provincial government.

    I wrote on a previous blog 11/21 that I think you will see more suicide bombings in the Middle East. We have given our enemies more resolve with the immoral and decadent behavior of our generals in that area. It is a fundamentalist train of thought that leaves them to believe they will be rewarded in their heaven. The Russians learned it is an endless and fruitless battle. We didn't learn from our Vietnam experience. Our troops need to come home. We have problems here in the US that need to be addressed especially with national security.