Taliban attack on US airbase 'failure' 2 December 2012 | Afghanistan A major Taliban attack on a joint US-Afghan airbase has been repelled after a two-hour gun battle in eastern Afghanistan earlier today (Sunday). American helicopters opened fire on the militants after they detonated explosives at the gate of Jalalabad Airbase in the largest assault there since February when a suicide car bombing at the gate triggered an explosion that killed nine Afghans, six of them civilians. In today's attack, two vehicles packed with explosives were driven at the main gate of the base at around 6am local time. The first - a four-wheel-drive car - blew up at the gate, where guards opened fire in time to stop the second vehicle before it could be detonated. Two Afghan university students and three other Afghan civilians working at the base were killed. It is unclear whether the three were private guards, members of the security forces or civilian employees. All nine attackers were killed. Three died in the suicide blasts and another six were killed in the gun battle that followed.. NATO has described the attack as a failure. "We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this morning. None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter," Lt Col Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said in an email. He said that the fighting had ended by midmorning and that reports showed one member of the Afghan security forces was killed. Several foreign troops were wounded, but Messer did not give any numbers or details. "The final assessment of what happened this morning is not yet complete, but initial reports indicate there were three suicide bombers," he said.