Six NATO soldiers killed in Afghan attacks

July 10th, 2010 - 10:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, July 10 (DPA) Six soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in separate insurgent attacks and an accidental explosion in Afghanistan Saturday, the military alliance said.
Three ISAF soldiers were killed during an attack featuring a roadside bomb and small-arms fire in the eastern region, NATO said in a statement. Two other soldiers were killed by another roadside bomb in the country’s south, it said.

The sixth soldier was killed in an accidental explosion in the eastern region, a separate ISAF statement said.

The statement did not reveal the nationalities of the deceased, nor did it provide further details about the natures of the attacks or their exact locations.

Most of the soldiers stationed in the eastern region are from the US, while troops from Britain, Canada and the Netherlands are deployed in the volatile southern provinces.

Saturday’s fatalities took to at least 350 the overall number of NATO troops killed in the Afghan war so far this year. More than 100 of the foreign soldiers were killed in June alone - the deadliest month for the international troops since late 2001, when the Taliban regime was ousted.

A suicide bomber also rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into an ISAF convoy in the southeastern province of Khost Saturday, said Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

An ISAF spokesperson in Kabul said there were no casualties among the soldiers or civilians from the blast, which she said was triggered by a roadside bomb.

Also Saturday, a motorcycle bomb in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar killed one civilian. The motorbike was abandoned in the parking lot of a supermarket in the centre of the provincial capital, according to Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The target of the attack was not known, he added.

Militants have increased their attacks in Kandahar - the Taliban’s spiritual home and the birthplace for their movement - in recent weeks, as the US military boosts the NATO troops with thousands of extra forces.

Some 140,000 US and NATO forces are currently based in the country, but that number is expected to peak at 150,000 in the coming weeks.

The US-led troops and Afghan forces plan to launch a major operation in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, the Taliban’s main hub of activity in the region, this summer.

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