NATO says 2 service members killed by bomb blast in southern Afghanistan

By Eric Talmadge, AP
Sunday, September 26, 2010

NATO: Bomb blast kills 2 troops in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two NATO service members were killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the military alliance said.

NATO said the troops were killed by a homemade bomb, but provided no further details. The nationalities of NATO deaths are not generally released until after the next of kin have been contacted.

This year is already the deadliest of the war, with more than 530 international forces killed. There are about 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including about 30,000 additional troops brought in under President Barack Obama’s surge strategy.

The coalition also said it killed at least five insurgents during a clearing operation in Kandahar, the Taliban heartland in the south that remains particularly volatile.

The multi-day operation was intended to impede the Taliban’s ability to move freely in the area and to disrupt its attempts to stage attacks. According to a NATO statement Sunday, the militants fought back with rocket-propelled grenades, machine-gun and small-arms fire. It said no Afghan or coalition troops were killed.

NATO also said it launched an air strike late Saturday in Kunar province, along the Pakistan border, that targeted a senior al-Qaida commander who coordinates a group of Arab fighters in the area, saying he routinely helped them travel into the region.

It did not say whether the commander was killed in the attack, but said his compound was destroyed. It said collateral damage was kept to a minimum, but did not provide further information.

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