Militants attack key NATO base in southern Afghanistan
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the gate of NATO's main base in the southern province of Kandahar Tuesday, while other militants opened fire in an "unsuccessful" attempt to storm the base, a military spokeswoman said, DPA reported.
"A suicide bomber tried to gain access inside the base, but failed," Katie Kendrick, a military spokeswoman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said.
"The bomber detonated his explosives outside the base, killing himself. This appears to be an unsuccessful attempt to breach the security perimeter of the base," she said.
Small arms fire was also heard outside the Kandahar airfield, Kendrick said, but did not have more details on how many people were involved in the attack or about any casualties.
The heavily fortified base, which is located some 25 kilometres south-east of Kandahar city and houses tens of thousands of US, Canadian and other NATO troops, often comes under attack by Taliban militants.
Thousands of US forces were deployed to Kandahar this year as part of new US military surge that is aimed at turning the tide of nearly nine-year-war against the Taliban in their spiritual home of Kandahar.
The new forces have already been moving into districts surrounding the provincial capital in a bid to bring better security and drive the militants from their former strongholds.