KABUL: At least six foreign soldiers were killed on Monday when a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a joint NATO-Afghan patrol near Bagram airbase outside Kabul, officials said.
“The attack left six coalition soldiers dead and two others wounded. Three Afghan policemen were also injured in the attack,” said Mohammad Asem, governor of Parwan province where the airfield is located.
Brig. Gen William Shoffner, head of public affairs at NATO’s Resolute Support base in the Afghan capital Kabul, said on Monday that three foreign troops were also wounded in the attack.
He said the attack happened at around 1:30 pm local time in the vicinity of the base, which is the biggest U.S. military facility in Afghanistan.
The nationalities of the troops were not immediately known.
“There has been a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in the vicinity of Bagram Air Field. At this time, the incident is under investigation,” an official statement said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility, with a spokesman claiming on Twitter that 19 US soldiers had been killed.
This month marks a year since the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan transitioned into an Afghan-led operation, with allied nations withdrawing from the frontline and instead helping to train and advise local forces.
President Barack Obama in October announced that thousands of US troops would remain in Afghanistan past 2016, backpedalling on previous plans to shrink the force and acknowledging that Afghan forces are not ready to stand alone.