JALALABAD: Six Taliban suicide attackers launched an assault on a joint Afghan-NATO base in the east of Afghanistan on Saturday, killing one NATO soldier during a prolonged firefight, officials said.
One attacker in an explosives-packed vehicle blew himself up at the entrance of the base in Nangarhar province, and five other insurgents were shot as they tried to storm the facility.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed one fatality in a suicide attack in the east of the country, without giving further details.
Afghan and Western officials said the attack took place in Shinwar district, a volatile area on the main highway from Kabul to neighbouring Pakistan, where many Taliban insurgents seek shelter.
"Around 8:00 am, a suicide bomber detonated himself and the other five were gunned down by Afghan security forces."
"Their bodies lie at the scene," Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor, told AFP.
In an emailed statement to the media, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
This year will see the end of the US-led NATO combat mission in Afghanistan as 85,000 foreign troops pull out.
Though a long-delayed security deal could allow several thousand US soldiers to remain to train and advise local security forces. (AFP)