Suicide bombers hit U.S. Afghan base near Pakistan

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Updated 2:25 a.m. ET

KABUL, Afghanistan A group of suicide bombers attacked a U.S. base near the border with Pakistan on Monday morning, leading to multiple explosions, a gunfight and the closure of a key road used by NATO supply trucks, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the strike in the Torkham area.

Jeanette Spain, a spokeswoman in Kabul for the U.S.-led International Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the attack, telling CBS News no ISAF casualties had been reported.

Torkham Police Commissioner Nisar Ahmad Eshtemai told CBS News three suicide bombers in Afghan army uniforms attacked a parking lot in the vicinity of the base. He says one of the assailants detonated his explosives in the parking lot, where NATO supply tracks are parked, and the other two began exchanging gunfire with police and NATO forces.

Eshtemai said the fighting ended with the three bombers dead and no coalition casualties.

Earlier, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said NATO helicopters were flying over the base during the gunfight.

The highway between Jalalabad city and Torkham, an important route for NATO supply trucks, has been closed, Abdulzai said.

Militants on both sides of the Afghan border have frequently targeted the supply line, leading NATO to shift much of its supply delivery toward routes from Central Asian states instead of through Pakistan.

In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the insurgent group was behind Monday morning's attack, and claimed they had destroyed several tanks in the process, an assertion that could not be confirmed.

The Taliban have escalated their attacks in recent weeks, a surge that comes as U.S.-led foreign troops reduce their presence in Afghanistan ahead of a full withdrawal by the end of next year.

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