Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Blasts target main US Afghan base

Bagram base

The US military says two bomb blasts near the gate to its main Afghan base have injured at least three people.

A car bombing outside the Bagram base was followed moments later by a suicide bombing, US officials said.

"No US soldier was present at that moment but three contractors have suffered minor injuries," a US military spokesman told the AFP news agency.

Bagram air base is about 60km (40 miles) north of Kabul. It is the main base for the US-led coalition force.

"There were two explosions, first a vehicle and then a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest, near the gate," Sergeant First Class Joel Peavey told AFP.

Military officials also said that three Nato soldiers had been killed after being wounded in a bomb blast in the south on Tuesday.

Taleban insurgency

Originally built by the Soviet military during its invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, some 10,000 troops are based at Bagram.

They are mostly Americans, but also include French, Egyptian, New Zealand, Turkish, German and Australian troops serving as part of the coalition.

In addition the base houses the US military's main prison facility in Afghanistan for people detained by US forces.

The latest deaths in the south take the number of international soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year to 52, according to the website that tracks casualties in Afghanistan.

Nato has not divulged the identities of the dead soldiers or the exact location of the attack, but a Canadian general has been reported by the AP news agency as saying that they were all Canadian.

The south of Afghanistan has become the centre of the Taleban insurgency after they were forced from power by US-led forces in 2001.

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