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Afghan insurgents attack NATO base, launch bombing

KABUL - Insurgents wearing suicide vests Saturday stormed a major NATO base in eastern Afghanistan, with six of them dying in a hail of gunfire before they could penetrate the defenses. Ten people including three children died in a separate bombing in the north.

The attacks - in Jalalabad in the east and Kunduz province in the north - show the insurgents' fighting spirit has not been broken despite a surge of U.S. troops and firepower.

They also demonstrate the guerrillas are capable of striking outside their traditional southern strongholds of Kandahar and Helmand provinces that are the focus of the U.S. surge.

NATO also reported that insurgents killed three coalition service members Saturday in southern Afghanistan, but it did not provide further details. So far this year, 629 U.S. and international troops have died in Afghanistan, according to a count by The Associated Press.

The violence underscored continued instability in the country a week before a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, to discuss shifting responsibility for security to Afghan forces. President Barack Obama also is due to present a review of his war strategy next month. - AP

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