KABUL – Roadside bombs have killed eight Afghan soldiers and a U.S. service member in separate incidents in Afghanistan, officials said Friday.
NATO confirmed the American died Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, but provided no other details.
Also Thursday, an Afghan army vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan. Army commander Abdul Hamid said eight soldiers who were inside the vehicle were killed as they were returning from the provincial capital of Tarin Kot.
NATO said Afghan and international forces on Friday found a truck in southern Afghanistan that was filled with 10 tons of fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, a chemical often used in making explosives. The troops destroyed the fertilizer in southern Kandahar province, returned the truck to the owner and compensated him for the fertilizer.
The government of Afghanistan gave the coalition force permission in September 2009 to confiscate any supplies of ammonium nitrate fertilizers being kept or transported in the country; farmers are urged to use fertilizer containing urea nitrate instead.
Separately, NATO said Friday that a local Afghan citizen turned over 68 Russian mortar grenades at a provincial reconstruction team compound in western Afghanistan. Since Oct. 1, about 150 Afghans have received cash rewards for providing information about weapons caches or tips leading to the recovery of multiple weapons, NATO said.
Earlier this week, NATO said international air and ground forces recovered more than 6,000 pounds of illegal drugs in the Maywand district of Kandahar province.
Before dawn on Wednesday, scouts in two helicopters observed a suspicious vehicle that was trying to evade them. Two people inside the vehicle fled when nearby soldiers tried to intercept the truck.
Inside the truck, the soldiers found more than 5,300 pounds of processed opium, more than 1,000 pounds of wet opium paste, about 50 pounds of heroin and multiple firearms with ammunition.
The suspects were detained and the drugs were destroyed on site, NATO said.