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Taliban Attacks Air Base as US Attorney General Visits Afghanistan

NATO says coalition forces have repulsed a Taliban attack on one of its bases in eastern Afghanistan, killing several insurgents. The violence comes on the day the U.S. Attorney General met with Afghan leaders to discuss efforts to fight corruption and improve the country's justice system.

The early morning insurgent attack targeted the military air base on the outskirts of the eastern city of Jalalabad, which borders Pakistan.

The assault, says a NATO statement, began with a suicide car bomb that blew up a gate at the base. A group of Taliban insurgents then stormed the airfield using light weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

But NATO officials say that Afghan and international forces were able to prevent the attackers from coming onto the base, killing several insurgents during the clash. A spokesman for the Afghan Taliban claimed its fighters carried out the attack on the NATO air base, the third military facility for international forces to have come under attack in Afghanistan in recent months.

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Kabul to meet with President Hamid Karzai and other senior Afghan as well as U.S officials. The discussions focused on efforts aimed at fighting corruption and improving Afghanistan's justice system.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Holder delivered a short statement to media at the U.S embassy in the Afghan capital and did not take questions from reporters.

"We applaud President Karzai for his actions and encourage him to continue his efforts, as much work remains to be done," he said. "The long-term stability of Afghanistan lies in the hands of the Afghan poeple. A key pillar of achieving stability is adherence to the rule of law. "

In a statement released at the start of his day-long trip to Kabul, the U.S. attorney general said that fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Afghanistan are top priorities for the Obama administration, and that the United States will continue to assist the Afghan government.

Western nations with the U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan maintain that widespread corruption and the booming illegal drug trade have become major challenges to stabilizing Afghanistan and defeating anti-government militants.

The Taliban insurgency this year is being described as the strongest in the nearly nine-year-old war. The month of June has been coalition's deadliest since the war began in late 2001.

The newly confirmed U.S. commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, warned during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, that the Afghan war will intensify in the coming months.