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Wednesday , October 21 2020

Blast inside US base kills 4 – Afghan parliament sacks 3 ministers

Afghan security personnel stop people as they block the road near the largest US military base in Bagram, 50 kms north of Kabul, after an explosion on Nov 12. (AFP)
Afghan security personnel stop people as they block the road near the largest US military base in Bagram, 50 kms north of Kabul, after an explosion on Nov 12. (AFP)

KABUL, Nov 12, (Agencies): Four people were killed Saturday in a huge explosion inside the largest US military base in Afghanistan, NATO said, with local authorities blaming a suicide attacker in a major breach of security.

The Taleban claimed responsibility for the bombing inside the heavily fortified Bagram Airfield, north of the capital Kabul, which left 14 others wounded as the insurgents ramp up attacks on Western targets. The nationalities of those killed and wounded were not immediately known after the explosion, which highlights rising insecurity in Afghanistan nearly two years after US-led NATO forces formally ended their combat operations. “An explosive device was detonated on Bagram Airfield resulting in multiple casualties.

Four people have died in the attack and approximately 14 have been wounded,” NATO said in a statement. “Response teams at Bagram continue to treat the wounded and investigate the incident.” The blast was caused by a suicide attacker who blew himself up near a dining facility inside the base, said Waheed Sediqi, spokesman for the governor of Parwan province where Bagram is located. “We don’t know the identity of victims yet but the attacker was one of the Afghan labourers working there,” Sediqi told AFP. Bagram district governor Abdul Shakoor Quddusi described the explosion around 0100 GMT as “powerful”, saying it reverberated across the area. The base was put on lockdown following the attack.

The United States has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, with the largest contingent stationed at the Bagram base. The attack represents a brazen security breach inside one of the most heavily guarded military installations in Afghanistan. The base is enveloped by multiple layers of Afghan and American guards, security cameras and watch towers, and a surveillance blimp keeps a close watch on the surrounding areas. “To the family and friends of those who lost their lives today, we share your loss and our thoughts are with you. We offer you our deepest condolences,” said John Nicholson, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

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