by Farid Behbud, Chen Xin
KABUL, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- More than 50 people with majority of them militants have been killed in Afghanistan since Saturday morning, authorities said Sunday.
A total of 14 people were killed when Taliban carried out multiple suicide bombings and armed attack against an Afghan-NATO military base locating in a local airport in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province early Sunday morning.
"Nine anti-government militants, three Afghan security members and two civilians were killed in Sunday morning's attack against Jalalabad airport," the provincial government said in a statement.
The attack begun at about 5:30 a.m. local time when two Taliban suicide bombers blew their explosive-laden car into the entrance of the base, sparking a gunfight between militants and the security forces in the base running by Afghan and U.S. forces in the city 120 km east of Afghan capital Kabul, the statement added.
Three other suicide bombers detonated their suicide vests shortly after the car bombings, according to the statement while four other militants were shot dead by the security forces.
Up to 11 Afghan soldiers and three civilians were also wounded in the blasts and the fighting lasted for two hours, the statement said, adding "the attackers were using the Afghan army uniform to mask themselves but their efforts to enter the base was failed,"
The statement did not say whether foreign soldiers were wounded in the incident. However, local media citing unknown sources reported that several NATO soldiers were also wounded in the clashes and explosions.
The Taliban insurgents, who have been waging an insurgency since its regime was toppled by a U.S-led invasion in late 2001, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
The base was attacked several times over the past couple of years. On February 27 this year, nine Afghan civilians were killed and 12 others wounded in a suicide car bomb against the base.
The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the militant group launched an annual rebel offensive on May 3 against Afghan government forces and about 100,000 NATO-led troops stationed in the country.
Earlier Sunday, two policemen and two Taliban were killed when militants stormed police checkpoints in Baghlan province 160 km north of Kabul.
Currently there are about 100,000 NATO-led coalition International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with 68,000 of them Americans, stationed in the country to stop the Taliban from returning to power.
Earlier Sunday, the Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement that the Afghan army and police supporting by the coalition forces have killed 27 Taliban insurgents across the country within a 24-hour period.
"During the operations in Nangarhar, Baghlan, Balkh, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Farah, Helmand and Nimroz provinces, 34 more insurgents have been detained," the ministry said in a statement, without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces.
Separately, a soldier with the coalition lost his live in an insurgent attack in the restive southern part of the country earlier Sunday morning.
"An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan today," the coalition or ISAF confirmed in a statement.
The brief statement did not provide details and the nationality of the victim, only saying "It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities."
In Uruzgan province, some 370 km south of Kabul, three civilians including two children were killed and four others wounded in a suicide bomb attack near a girls' school in Dehrawood district Saturday evening.
The ISAF commander condemned the bombing.
"During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence a girls' school was attacked. Violence aimed at women and girls is intolerable. Once again, the Taliban are displaying their murderous nature. ISAF condemns this attack in the strongest terms, " said Gen. John R. Allen, ISAF commander in a statement.
"I send my sincere condolences to the family and friends of those killed," said Gen. Allen.
A total of 1,145 Afghan civilians were killed and 1,954 injured in conflicts in the first six months of 2012 in insurgency-hit country, according to a UN mid-year report released in Kabul on Aug. 8.
The UN report attributed 80 percent of the civilian deaths to the attacks of Taliban insurgents and other armed groups opposing the Afghan government, another 10 percent of the deaths were attributed to Afghan and NATO-led forces and 10 percent were unattributed in the first six months this year.