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Security stand guard near the site of attack near the Bagram Air Base in Parwan province of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. A powerful suicide bombing Wednesday targeted an under-construction medical facility near Bagram Air Base, the main American base north of the capital Kabul, the U.S. military said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Taliban attack US base amid peace talks underway

Two civilians were killed and over 70 others wounded in Taliban bomb-and-gun attack on US military base in Bagram

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: Amid the ongoing peace talks between US and Qatar-based Taliban members, seven Taliban fighters detonated a car filled with explosives and then stormed a medical facility near Bagram Air Base in Parwan province north of Kabul, in which two civilians including a woman were killed and over 70 others, children and women among them, received injuries.  

The attack took place at around 6:00am local time on Wednesday morning, Parwan Governor Spokeswoman, Wahida Shahkar told Afghanistan Times.  The security forces have launched operation soon after the attack and gunned down the militants after over 12 hours of the clash.  

The Afghan security forces have killed all the seven attackers, Spokesman for Ministry of Interior, Nasrat Rahimi said. “Two civilians, including a woman were killed and more than 70 others received injuries in the attack.”

Bagram District Chief, Abdul Shakor Qodosi told Afghanistan Times that the blast was too heavy that caused damages to several nearby houses also shattered its windows.

According to him, over 60 civilians, including women and children were wounded in the powerful blast.

US forces spokesman in Afghanistan, Sonny Leggett said, “Enemy Forces conducted an attack on Bagram airfield on Wednesday morning, targeting a medical facility being constructed to help the Afghans people, who live near the base. The attack was quickly contained and repelled by our Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and Coalition partners.

“But the future medical facility was badly damaged. There were no U.S. or Coalition casualties and Bagram remained secure throughout the attack,” he added.

President Ashraf Ghani has strongly condemned the terrorist attack, calling it a ‘crime against humanity’.

“Terrorists by conducting such attack over public institutions and medical care centers won’t reach to their ugly aims, because our security and defense forces will suppress and punish them anywhere,” President Ghani was quoted in a statement issued by his office.

Presidential Spokesman, Sediq Seddiqi said, “as always, the government of Afghanistan has insisted that peace, ceasefire and end of violence is everlasting demand of Afghan nation and the government, but if the Taliban continue to violence the Afghan security and defense forces will defend from the system and citizens of the country.”   

The Taliban group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but as the renewed round of peace talks between the US and the Taliban entered their fifth day in Qatar; the attack has casted doubts over willingness to renounce violence or at least reduce the level of violence.

On November 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Bagram, located about 50 kilometers north of the Afghan capital of Kabul, to celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ with his troops.

And the attack came as Trumps peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban members are carrying peace talks with a hope to find a political settlement to the Afghan war. But both sides have revealed little about the ongoing talks in the Gulf nation so far.

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