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Taliban attack NATO air base

Taliban insurgents have struck at airport used by NATO using heavy weaponry against the heavily defended compound. No immediate details of casualties were available.

Afghan officials said blasts were heard inside the airfield on the edge of Jalalabad city early on Sunday morning.

The attack was confirmed by a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), who denied Taliban claims that the insurgents had entered the compound.

“We can confirm there have been multiple explosions in the vicinity of the Jalalabad airfield,” the Reuters news agency reported the spokesman as saying. "None of the attackers succeeded breaching the perimeter."

The Afghan Defense Ministry confirmed there had been rocket attacks followed by two suicide bombings.

The Taliban claimed that heavy casualties had been inflicted on the NATO troops, although there were no official figures to confirm this.

“This morning at 6 a.m. a number of our devotees attacked the major U.S. Base in Jalalabad city and so far have brought heavy causalities to the enemy," the Reuters news agency reported Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying.

One Taliban website reported that suicide bombers had claimed the lives of troops by detonating a car bomb.

The airport was attacked on two previous occasions this year, in February and April.

rc/jr (AFP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)