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Afghanistan

Taliban attack Nato's main southern base

Reuters

A Taliban suicide squad attacked Nato’s key base in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday , using bombs and rockets but failing to break through the perimeter, according to Afghan and Nato officials. In Kabul, a police chief was jailed for drug-related corruption.

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The attackers fired rockets at Kandahar airfield and then two suicide bombers detonated explosives strapped to their bodies, apparently aiming to clear the entrance for the rest of the group to storm in.

But they were fought off during a gunbattle that lasted one hour, according to Kandhar provincial spokesperson Zalmai Ayobi. The base was immediately locked down and civilian workers sent home.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The airfield, on the edge of Kandahar city which was a long-time Taliban stronghold, is the main base for troops fighting the insurgency, which is strongest in the south.

In other news:

  • Six children were killed and one man wounded in Dand district of Kandahar on Monday.
  • Nato and Afghan troops destroyed a booby-trapped house and killed seven insurgents in Zhari district, the international force says.
  • In Logar province a two-hour gun battle on Monday left between eight and 10 rebels dead, officials say.
  • In Mazar-i-Sharif, robbers poisoned and beheaded six security guards before making off with 208,000 euros-worth of cash from a local branch of Kabul Bank.
  • In Kabul Tuesday, former police general Mulham was jailed for 10 years for taking 70,000 euros-worth of bribes to allow 660 kilos of opium to cross the Iranian border.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium. The fight against drugs and corruption is continuously raised as one of the principal challenges before President Hamid Karzai’s government.

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