Men inspect a damaged house at the site of an attack in a US military air base in Bagram on Wednesday. Mohammad Ismail/AFP
A powerful suicide bombing targeted an under-construction medical facility on Wednesday near Bagram Air Base, the main American base north of the Afghan capital, the US military said, and six Afghans were reported wounded.
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The attacker struck the facility that is being built to help the Afghan people who live in the area, the US military said. There were no coalition casualties and the base remains secure, the statement added.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Taliban and the Daesh group stage near-daily attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan.
Outside the sprawling base, several homes, mostly belonging to the poor, were destroyed. A large mosque in the area was also badly damaged.
Taliban ambush security convoy
Shortly after the bombing, Afghan troops, special forces and intelligence officers cordoned off the perimeter of the base with armored personnel carriers. Heavily armed soldiers kept residents far from the gates to Bagram Air Base.
Within minutes of the suicide bombing, US fighter aircraft bombed the area, according to witnesses
Earlier reports suggested that a US military convoy might have been the target of Wednesday's attack.
Dr. Abdul Qasim Sangin, a physician who heads the main hospital in the province, said the hospital near the perimeter of the base was on fire. It wasn't immediately clear if any foreigners were inside the hospital.
Gen. Mahfooz Walizada, police commander of Parwan province where the base is located, confirmed the attack but offered no details on casualties.
Sangin said his hospital received six wounded, all Afghans. Five were in stable condition and one was critical, he said. Scores more were treated and released by medics at the scene. Most were suffering cuts and bruises from flying glass and debris.
The Taliban control or hold sway over nearly half of Afghanistan, staging regular attacks that target foreign and Afghan forces, as well as Kabul government officials, but also kill scores of civilians.
Shortly after the bomber detonated the car laden with explosives, a group of insurgents stormed into the compound, setting of a shootout with Afghan forces.
The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai also defended the Taliban's role in recent bloodshed across the country after US President Donald Trump cited an attack that killed an American soldier as his reason for calling off negotiations earlier this month.
Witnesses and an AFP reporter also described hearing gunshots immediately after the blast at the electronic identification registration centre in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, where both the Taliban and the Daesh group are active.
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