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Twin Taliban attacks near main US base in Afghanistan kill one, wound 65

Military camp at Bagram, Afghanistan (Derrick C. Goode/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Two Taliban suicide car-bomb blasts killed one person and wounded more than 90 others, including five Georgian soldiers, on December 11 on the main U.S. military base of Bagram in Afghanistan, local and NATO officials said.

The twin attack comes as the United States last week resumed talks with the Taliban — three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations to end the 18-year war.

“A 30-minute clash also happened between the attackers, who obviously wanted to enter the base, and foreign forces,” said Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the governor of Parwan Province, where the base is located.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack.

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In a statement, the Georgian Defense Ministry confirmed that five of its soldiers were slightly injured in the attack, adding that their hospitalization was not necessary.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission said there were no U.S. or coalition casualties and the airfield remained secure during the incident.

“Enemy forces conducted an attack on Bagram airfield this morning, targeting a medical facility being constructed to help the Afghan people who live near the base,” a Resolute Support statement said.

“The attack was quickly contained and repelled by [Afghan 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,” it said.

Bagram district Governor Haji Abdul Shukur Quddusi said the explosion happened in the village of Jan Qadam near the Bagram airfield walls, situated north of Kabul.

Sporadic and ongoing gunfire was still heard at the scene, he added.

Bagram airfield is located some 50 kilometers north of Kabul.

The attack comes as U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly met with Taliban officials on December 7 in Qatar, the scene of previous negotiations abruptly called off three months ago by Trump.

The restart follows Trump’s surprise Thanksgiving visit to see U.S. troops in Afghanistan on November 28, when he voiced hope that “the Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them.”