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US military chief's plane damaged in rocket attack

A rocket fired at a US airbase in Afghanistan yesterday damaged the aircraft of America's top military officer and wounded two maintenance crew.

BAGRAM, Afghanistan // A rocket fired at a US airbase in Afghanistan yesterday damaged the aircraft of America's top military officer and wounded two maintenance crew, officers said.

Two insurgent rockets hit the vast Bagram air field overnight, with one causing damage to the C-17 used by Gen Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who left the base using another plane, said his spokesman Col Dave Lapan.

Shrapnel from the rocket hit the door of the plane while it was parked on the runway. Two US maintenance workers suffered minor injuries, Col Lapan added. The attack posed no threat to the safety of Gen Dempsey or his staff, who were asleep in their quarters at the time, officers said.

Although sporadic shelling of Bagram is not uncommon, Taliban insurgents rarely manage to inflict serious damage or casualties at the base, according to military reports.

Gen Dempsey had been visiting Kabul to meet commanders of the Nato-led force and Afghan top brass amid a surge in assaults by Afghan security personnel on their international colleagues.

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