Nearly 50 civilians were wounded in a complex attack that hit a medical facility near the largest US military base in Afghanistan early on Wednesday, officials said.
The attack happened at around 6 am (0130 GMT) close to a medical facility located near the southern entrance gates to Bagram military base, Bagram district Governor Abdul Shukoor Qudusi said.
According to the district governor, two car bombs were detonated before other assailants were able to penetrate into the facility that was under construction. Gunfire continued for two hours in the area.
In addition, an unexploded car bomb was also found at the site of the incident.
In a statement, a spokesman for the NATO-led mission Resolute Support confirmed an attack on Bagram airfield. According to the spokesman, it targeted a medical facility being constructed to help Afghan people who live near the base.
The attack was ‘quickly contained and repelled’ by Afghan forces and their coalition partners, the statement added.
‘There were no US or coalition casualties, and Bagram remained secure throughout the attack,’ the statement further said.
Located some 50 kilometres north of Kabul city, Bagram airfield is the United States' largest military base in Afghanistan.
Qudusi added that the area was cordoned off by international forces, and Afghan forces were not allowed to enter the area.
So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack comes as the US and representatives of the militant Taliban reopened direct talks in Doha last Saturday to find a political solution to the 18-year-long conflict.
The US and Taliban were on the threshold of signing an agreement before the talks were called off on September 5 by US President Donald Trump after a car bomb in Kabul that among others killed two NATO soldiers, including a US serviceman.
The talks were launched in July 2018 and continued for almost a year. The draft agreement called for the US to withdraw 5,000 US soldiers from Afghanistan in 135 days as a first instalment.
It also called for the Taliban to enter into direct talks with the Afghan government, a step the militants have so far refused to take as they consider Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government to be ‘puppets’ of Washington.