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Three troops under U.S. command, dozens of Afghan soldiers die in separate attacks

U.S. troops at their base in Logar province, Afghanistan.
U.S. troops at their base in Logar province, Afghanistan. (OMAR SOBHANI/Reuters)
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KABUL — Three foreign troops serving under the U.S. military’s command and more than 40 Afghan soldiers were killed Sunday in two separate attacks in Afghanistan, officials said.

The foreign soldiers lost their lives during a combined dismounted patrol with Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, the coalition said in a statement.

The statement did not identify the nationality of those killed or the exact location of the incident, but the Associated Press reported that the three killed were Czechs. An American was wounded.

The losses are the most for the coalition in a single attack in many months in Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents and sympathizers of the Islamic State have stepped up their strikes in recent months.

A spokesman for the Taliban said the group carried out the attack, which came less than two weeks after U.S. officials and Taliban emissaries held direct talks over how to end the protracted war.

In addition to the three killed, the coalition said in the statement, “another Resolute Support service member, which U.S. ­Forces-Afghanistan acknowledged was an American, and two Afghan National Army soldiers were also injured in the blast.”

“My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all of the 41 Resolute Support nations, are with the families and friends of our fallen and wounded service members, and our injured Afghan brothers and their families,” said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commander.

“Their sacrifice on behalf of the Afghan people and our coalition will endure in both our hearts and history, and further strengthen our resolve,” he said.

A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, Mohammad Radmanesh, said by phone that the incident occurred in a village near the U.S. main military base of Bagram, in Parwan province, to the north of Kabul. The Taliban spokesman also said the attack took place there.

The attack is part of increasing violence in Afghanistan, where several dozen national security forces lose their lives daily in strikes by the Taliban and other militants.

Local officials in southern Uruzgan province said 42 Afghan army soldiers were killed early Sunday when Taliban insurgents stormed their posts in an area of the province.

In Kabul, Radmanesh confirmed the incident and that there were losses but did not provide any figures.

He said there was an ongoing battle in which the Taliban has also suffered casualties.

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