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Taliban Claims Responsibility for US Base Attack

Afghan police stand guard near burning NATO supply trucks following an attack by militants on a U.S. base near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Sept. 2, 2013.
Authorities in eastern Afghanistan said Taliban insurgents on Monday launched an “unsuccessful” assault against a U.S. military base near the border with Pakistan.

NATO and Afghan officials say a group of heavily armed Taliban suicide bombers staged the coordinated attack on the American base in eastern Nangarhar province.

Provincial governor spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said the assault began when militants set off bombs and set fire to military vehicles in the parking lot at the U.S. outpost.

Three suicide bombers opened fire on foreign forces guarding the facility, according to Abdulzai. The encounter lasted nearly three hours and the spokesman said NATO helicopters also joined the fight.

NATO officials said none of its personnel were killed in the attack. Local authorities also reported no military or civilian casualties.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the assault, located along a key highway for NATO trucks carrying supplies from the Pakistani port in Karachi to international forces in landlocked Afghanistan. The highway was temporarily closed.

A surge of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan has killed more than 100 people in the past week.

NATO plans to terminate its Afghan military mission by the end of next year and international troops are gradually reducing their presence in the country to meet the deadline.

Afghan authorities insist the NATO withdrawal is not a cause of concern because the country's 350,000 member newly trained national force is capable of managing the security responsibilities past 2014.

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