KABUL, Afghanistan – A NATO helicopter was destroyed and three Afghan intelligence agents killed after an rocket attack at Bagram air base, north of Kabul, according to NATO officials.
The attack happened Monday at 10 p.m. The rockets landed directly on the airfield – one of the biggest in the country – leading a Chinook CH-47 to catch fire.
“It was parked on the airfield,” Charles Stadtlander, a NATO spokesperson, said. “The helicopter caught fire after it was hit by indirect fire.”
There were both coalition and Afghan service members aboard the helicopter when it caught fire. Three Afghans aboard were killed, while an undisclosed number of coalition troops were hurt. NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force typically does not provide details on troop casualties when they are non-fatal.
Afghan officials say the three Afghans killed were all members of the National Directorate of Security, the country’s intelligence service. Two other Afghans were hurt.
In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Rocket attacks at Bagram, a major, sprawling coalition base an hour’s drive north of Kabul, aren’t rare. Last month, an insurgent rocket attack damaged the plane being used by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, during his visit. The plane was parked on the tarmac at the time and no one was killed.