Ten soldiers -- five foreign and five Afghans – were killed in an attack by a suicide bomber in eastern Afghanistan, according to the Afghan defense ministry.
U.S. Master Sgt. Jason Haag revealed that the attack occurred during a meeting between Afghan soldiers and NATO officials.
NATO declined to disclose the nationalities of the foreign victims.
It was one of the deadliest attacks on foreign forces in months, although there were two other attacks over the past three days (one of which killed a police chief of Kandahar).
The bomber, who disguised himself as an Afghan soldier, attacked the base near the city of Jalalabad.
At least eight other people, including four Afghan soldiers, were wounded.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, describing the attacker as a sleeper agent who served in the Afghan army for at least one month prior to the attack.
Afghan officials denied that the attacker was not a serving soldier.
Today, when there was a meeting going on between Afghan and foreign soldiers, he used the opportunity to carry out the attack, said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, according to the Associated Press.
Mujahid identified the bomber as Abdul Ghani from the central Daykundi province.
There are now fears that Taliban agents have infiltrated the national police and army, giving them easier access to foreign military installations.
Insurgents are seeking to undermine both the Afghan police and military, in order to prevent them from taking over the country once foreign troops depart. The Taliban is likely also trying to dissuade ordinary Afghans from joining these institutions.
Afghanistan is home to about 140,000 foreign troops, including 100,000 Americans and 9,500 Britons.
US President Barack Obama has set a July deadline for the departure of the American forces. At that time, the Afghan national police and army will take over security responsibilities.
Separately, Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani in Kabul to declare they formed a commission to foster enable talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.