Five soldiers, one civilian killed in Afghanistan blast

September 17th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Sep 17 (DPA) Four US-led coalition soldiers and an Afghan national were killed in a roadside bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday morning, the US military said in a statement.The statement issued by US military authorities in Bagram, the main US base in the country, did not disclose the nationality of the deceased soldiers, nor did it say where exactly in the eastern region the incident took place.

Most of the troops serving under the coalition banner are from the US.

Taliban militants, meanwhile, said in a statement posted on their website that they attacked a US battle tank in Khoshamand district of the southeastern province of Paktika with a roadside mine Wednesday, killing five US soldiers and destroying their vehicle.

It was not immediately clear if the Taliban and US forces were referring to the same incident.

The soldiers were killed the same day as US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was visiting Afghanistan.

Gates arrived in Kabul late Tuesday evening and was scheduled to meet coalition commanders and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai to discuss the ongoing war against the resurgent Taliban.

Taliban militants, who lost power after a US-led invasion in the wake of the Sep 11, 2001 attacks, rely heavily on the use of suicide and roadside bomb attacks in their campaign to bring down the Western-backed Afghan government.

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