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5 More American Troops Die in Afghan Attacks

Wednesday, 14 Jul 2010 08:08 AM

 

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The international force in Afghanistan says five more American troops have died in attacks.

The deaths make eight Americans killed within 24 hours in the volatile south of the country, where U.S. troops are making a push to secure Taliban-dominated areas.

A statement Wednesday from the NATO-led force said four troops were killed by a roadside bomb in the south Wednesday, while a fifth died the same day of wounds from a gunbattle.

Three other Americans died late Tuesday in an audacious Taliban attack on a police headquarters in Kandahar, the largest southern city. An Afghan policeman and five civilians died in the same attack.

An Afghan police officer also died in the late Tuesday night attack on the compound, which houses the elite Afghan National Civil Order Police, a provincial spokesman said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility.

A suicide attacker slammed a car bomb into the entrance of the compound, then insurgents opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, a NATO statement said. A combined force of international troops and police kept the attackers from entering the compound and eventually fought them off, but three American troops died along with five civilian workers, NATO said.

The dead civilians included three Afghan translators and two security guards, Kandahar provincial police chief Sardar Mohammad Zazai said.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi telephoned reporters Wednesday to claim responsibility for the attack. The insurgents, which are prone to exaggerate death tolls inflicted on Afghan and international security forces, claimed 13 international troops and eight Afghan security forces died in the raid.

Kandahar is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban. The insurgents have intensified attacks on government targets as Afghan and international reinforcements move in.

The Civil Order Police compound in Mirwais Miani district was near one of the 11 new checkpoints set up in recent weeks around the city, Kandahar provincial spokesman Zulmi Ayubi said. He said it was unclear whether the dead police officer was from the Civil Order Police, an elite force within the national police, or the local Kandahar city police.

The new checkpoints are manned by the elite Afghan unit along with international forces in a push to increase security in the south's largest city, where Taliban operatives have long operated.

At the same time, thousands of NATO and Afghan troops are fanning out elsewhere in Kandahar province to pressure insurgents in rural areas. The strategy is to secure the population with the additional trained police and troops so that capable governance and development projects designed to build capacity can win the loyalty of the city's half-million residents.

Last month was the deadliest of the nearly 9-year-old war for international forces, with 103 coalition troops killed. So far in July, 40 international troops have died in Afghanistan, 28 of them Americans.

In other attacks around the country, nine Afghan civilians died in the south when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the volatile district of Marjah in Helmand province, the Ministry of Interior said. Another homemade bomb killed two security guards traveling on a road in eastern Paktika province.

Two suspected Taliban also died in Helmand's Lashkar Gar district when the roadside bomb they were trying to plant exploded prematurely, the ministry said.

Homemade explosives planted in roads and pathways are a leading killer of international forces and also kill hundreds of civilians each year.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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