Taleban launch assault in Afghanistan

A series of explosions followed by gunfire have rocked the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad as its airport came under an attack claimed by the Taleban, witnesses and officials say.

The Taleban told AFP that they had launched an assault including a suicide bombing on the airport complex, which contains a major NATO base.

Militants entered the airport on Sunday, they said. An Afghan government official confirmed that clashes had taken place within the airport complex.

A guard said that after the initial huge explosion the airport had come under fire from rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small arms.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

The hardline Taleban Islamists have waged an 11-year insurgency against the Afghan government, which is backed by 100,000 NATO troops, since being overthrown in a US-led invasion for harbouring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed that there had been "multiple explosions in the vicinity of Jalalabad airport", but had no further details.

- AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 31 Aug 2014 06:45:09 Processing Time: 612ms