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Insurgents attack US-run base in Afghanistan

An Afghan official says insurgents have launched an attack on a U.S.-run civilian and military base in the southern city of Kandahar.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Gunmen attacked a U.S.-run civilian and military base in the southern city of Kandahar on Thursday, coalition forces and the Afghan interior ministry said.

Two attackers fired shots at the base from a nearby building before being killed by security forces, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said.

A hospital in Kandahar said at least one civilian was killed and at least two others and a member of the Afghan security forces have been wounded.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Soldiers then found a car suspected to contain explosives. They have sealed off the area while inspecting the vehicle for bombs, Sediqi said.

"There are no ISAF fatalities," a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul said.

Suicide bomber
Also Thursday, a suicide attacker targeted a coalition base in Panjwai district, also in Kandahar province, detonating a vehicle containing an improvised explosive device outside the perimeter of the base.

There were no ISAF casualties and the perimeter was not breached, ISAF said.

Kandahar, 300 miles south of the capital Kabul, is the birthplace of the Taliban, and their current stronghold in the country.

Despite the presence of more than 130,000 foreign troops, violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since the start of the war 10 years ago, according to the United Nations.

ISAF says there has recently been a fall in attacks initiated by insurgents, but this data excludes attacks that kill only civilians, and attacks on Afghan security forces operating without international troops.

As well as day to day attacks by insurgents, there has been a series of high-profile assassinations over the last year.

In August, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 22 people in an attack on the Parwan provincial governor's compound, and in September insurgents launched a 20-hour assault on the U.S. embassy in Kabul, killing more than a dozen people.