December 26, 2012 - 10:11 AMT
Suicide bomber targets U.S. military base in Afghanistan

A vehicle apparently driven by as suicide bomber exploded at the gate of a major U.S. military base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, Dec 26, with initial reports indicating some Afghans were injured but no one was killed, a NATO command spokesman said, according to The Associated Press.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The vehicle, probably with a suicide bomber inside, exploded at the gate of Camp Chapman, located adjacent to the airport near the provincial capital of Khost, which borders Pakistan, coalition spokesman U.S. Army Maj. Martyn Crighton said. He called it an "unsuccessful attack."

Earlier, Afghan Police Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizai said the attack was directed at a NATO convoy traveling to the airport.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email that the bomber targeted Afghan police manning the gate and Afghans working for the Americans entering the base. He claimed high casualties were inflicted.

NATO operates with more than 100,000 troops in the country, including some 66,000 American forces. It is handing most combat operations over to the Afghans in preparation for a pullout from Afghanistan in 2014. Militant groups, including the Taliban, rarely face NATO troops head-on and rely mainly on roadside bombs and suicide attacks.

NATO forces and foreign civilians have also been increasingly attacked by rogue Afghan military and police, eroding trust between the allies.