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Wednesday Dec 11 2019
By
AFP

Blast damages hospital near Bagram airbase in Afghanistan

By
AFP
Bagram Airbase. Photo: Tolo News

KABUL: At least one person was killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded close to the largest US military base in Afghanistan Wednesday, damaging homes and a hospital under construction near Bagram Airfield, officials said.

The attack — which has not yet been claimed — comes as Washington resumed talks with the Taliban on Saturday, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war.

"The explosion happened in front of the gate of the Korean hospital which is almost adjacent to Bagram airfield," Parwan governor spokeswoman Wahida Shahkar said, referring to the US airbase located north of Kabul, in Parwan province.

The hospital was not in operation at the time, but Bagram district governor Abdul Shukoor Qudoosi said at least one woman had been killed and 60 civilians wounded when the blast damaged nearby homes.

Qudoosi described the blast as a "powerful" suicide car bomb, though that had not been confirmed by other officials, and said it was followed by fighting with armed assailants.

Mahfooz Walizada, the Parwan police chief, also said one woman had been killed and put the wounded toll higher, at around 100 people.

There were no US or coalition casualties and "Bagram remained secure throughout the attack", NATO's Resolute Support mission said.

"The attack was quickly contained and repelled... but the future medical facility was badly damaged," it added in a statement.

President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Bagram on November 28 to celebrate Thanksgiving with his troops and meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

On Monday the Washington Post reported on thousands of US government documents which showed that senior American officials had insisted progress was being made in Afghanistan despite clear evidence the war had become unwinnable.