KABUL, Afghanistan - Taliban insurgents, including several suicide bombers, attacked a joint U.S.-Afghan military airfield in the eastern city of Jalalabad early Sunday morning, triggering an hours-long battle that left most of the attackers dead in a failed attempt to breach the base's fortifications.
The attackers detonated two of their vehicles at the gate of the base, followed by three more suicide bombers on foot who detonated explosive vests, according to an updated account of the attack provided by the Nangahar Province governor's office.
Four other suicide bombers attempted to detonate explosives vests but were shot and killed by security forces inside the base, the latest account said. The governor's office said the attack resulted in the deaths of nine attackers and three members of the Afghan security forces.
Eleven Afghan security force members were wounded. Two civilians were killed and three wounded, the governor's office said.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Les Carroll, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, said no coalition personnel were killed. Citing ISAF policy, Carroll said he could provide no details on the number or condition of coalition personnel wounded.
Abdul Jalil Shamal, deputy police chief for Nangahar Province, said the insurgents attacked with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.
The bodies of seven attackers were on the ground outside the base security walls at first light, according to Shamal. Some reports said the insurgents were dressed in Afghan military uniforms, a common tactic.
Shamal called the attack a failure. Lt. Col. Carroll said, None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter.
In a statement, a Taliban spokesman who calls himself Zabihullah Mujahid said: 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 casualties to the enemy.
The Taliban routinely exaggerate the effects of their attacks.