Suicide truck bomb hits NATO base in Afghanistan

Suicide truck bomb hits NATO base in Afghanistan

A suicide truck bomb attack on a joint NATO-Afghan army base in eastern Afghanistan today caused several casualties to Afghan forces, the International Security Assistance Force said.

Reports by Afghan officials of the number of soldiers wounded in the attack -- claimed by Taliban insurgents -- varied from 10 to 45, but there were no reports of any deaths.

"This morning a joint ISAF-ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) combat outpost in Zurmat district in Paktiya province was attacked by insurgents using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and indirect fire," an ISAF spokesman told AFP.

"Early reports say the attack resulted in several ANSF casualties, but there is currently no reporting on ISAF casualties," he said.

Deputy provincial governor Abdul Rahman Mangal told AFP: "Around 45 army soldiers have been slightly wounded, mostly by broken glass, by the huge blast caused by a truck bomb at the gate."

The Taliban said their fighters had infiltrated the base after the suicide attack and fighting was continuing -- claims denied by ISAF and Afghan officials.

"Our mujahideen armed with rockets, machine-guns, hand-grenades and suicide vests successfully infiltrated an American forces base in Zurmat district following a suicide car bomb attack," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP.

Afghan forces are taking on an increasing role in the war against the Taliban as NATO draws down its forces ahead of a pull-out of all combat troops at the end of 2014.

So far this year the Afghan army and police have suffered an average of 535 casualties -- killed and wounded -- each month, ISAF said in a breakdown of the status of the 337,000-strong ANSF this week.

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