June 30th, 2010
10:27 AM ET

Taliban attacks airfield

Taliban insurgents attacked Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday, hitting the entrance of the facility with a car bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, said a statement from NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

The airfield's perimeter was not breached and several insurgents died in the attack, NATO said, without providing specific figures. Two joint security force members were injured.

In a text message to CNN, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said six men wearing suicide vests entered the airfield, killing 32 foreigners. CNN could not independently confirm those claims.

"This was not only an attack on a combined Afghan and ISAF facility, it was also an attack on the people of Afghanistan," said spokeswoman Capt. Jane Campbell. "The reality is that attacks such as this have absolutely no impact on the overall security situation in Afghanistan."

The incident took place on the same day U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Kabul, about 75 miles away, to meet with U.S. and Afghan officials

Holder is in Afghanistan to foster the development of the nation's justice system, according to a statement from U.S. Department of Justice.

"Fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Afghanistan are top priorities for this Administration, and we will continue to assist the Afghan government in creating and sustaining the effective criminal justice system to which the Afghan people are entitled," Holder said.

Justice Department attorneys are working with Afghan prosecutors and police investigators on "significant narcotics and narcotics-related (such as corruption and money laundering) offenses."

The meetings in Afghanistan are the first for a U.S. attorney general, according to the department.

Separately, the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday that it has a "strong partnership" with Afghanistan's attorney general a day after Mohammad Ishaq Alako accused Ambassador Karl Eikenberry of giving him ultimatums.

"The U.S. Embassy has a regular dialogue and a strong partnership with the Attorney General and his office, including robust mentoring and training programs," said embassy spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. "The Ambassador's discussions with his counterparts are private and we're not going to comment on them."

At a Tuesday news conference, Alako accused Eikenberry of pressuring him to falsely investigate and bring corruption charges against a senior Afghan bank official. Alako said there is no evidence to suggest that any charges should be brought against Rafiullah Azimi, the deputy chief of Ansari Bank.

The U.S. Embassy denied Alako's accusations.

"The United States continues to respect that personnel decisions are for the Afghan Government to make," Hayden said.

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