Two NATO soldiers have been killed and six others wounded in a rocket attack on their base in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar, an Afghan official with NATO forces has said.
Friday’s incident came a day after attackers dressed in Afghan police uniforms and wearing suicide vests stormed a government compound in the southwestern province of Farah, killing seven people and wounding 12 others.
“Two ISAF soldiers were killed and six others injured in a Taliban rocket attack on an ISAF base in Nari district today,” a local spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, referring to the attack in Kunar.
Two other local officials confirmed the account, while the ISAF press office in the capital, Kabul, said “two service members died following an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan”.
Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said: “We understand the attack happened in the early morning hours in Nari district of Kunar province near the Afghan border.
“Senior Afghan officials claim that that rocket attack came from Pakistani soil, and that would be quite significant because the border region has been quite sensitive.”
In a second incident in Kunar on Friday, three civilians were killed in the Watapur district when a mortar shell landed on a civilian household.
Six people were also injured as a result of the mortar firing, blamed on the Taliban.
Syed Fazlullah Wahidi, Kunar’s governor, told the Pajhwok news agency that the injured – four children and two women – were transported to the Kunar civil hospital.
The Taliban earlier this month announced the start of their annual spring offensive, a campaign of bombings and attacks that picks up every year as the weather warms.
So far this year, 154 NATO soldiers have been killed in fighting, according to the Associated Press news agency.
ISAF has about 130,000 soldiers fighting alongside around 350,000 Afghan security personnel against the Taliban.
They are due to pull out of the country in 2014, and details of the process will be worked out at a NATO summit in Chicago starting on Sunday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Chicago on Friday ahead of the meeting.
He will hold one-on-one talks with US President Barack Obama on Sunday on the sidelines of the summit.
The two-day summit will gather NATO’s 28 member states as well as leaders from more than 30 nations and international organisations, including Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.