2 U.S. Troops, 4 Afghan Soldiers Killed in Separate Explosions

Two U.S. service members died and four Afghan soldiers were killed in separate explosions Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, an area of the nation rife with violence, officials said.

Nine members of the Afghan National Police were injured Wednesday in other incidents.

NATO said the two American troops died in a bomb blast, but disclosed no other information. Their deaths bring to 12 the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan so far this month; 16 other soldiers from the international coalition have died this month.

In Khost city, members of the Afghan National Army found two explosives, said Amir Hassan, a spokesman for the police chief in Khost province near the Pakistan border. He said the soldiers detonated one and removed the other, which subsequently exploded. The four soldiers and a civilian died in the morning blast just outside a police barracks, he said.

In southern Afghanistan, three members of the national police force and three civilians were wounded when a homicide bomber in a truck detonated his explosives near a police office in the Daman district of Kandahar province, according to the Ministry of Interior. Three vehicles, including an ambulance, were damaged in the blast.

And in Ghazni province, six Afghan policemen were injured when a remove-controlled bomb exploded near an international aid office, said Abdul Ghani, deputy police chief in Ghanzi province of eastern Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense on Wednesday reported that the body of an Afghan National Army soldier, who was kidnapped on Monday by militants from his house in Baghlan province, was found Tuesday in the Dushi district of the province in northern Afghanistan. The soldier was stationed in Khost district.

Separately, NATO reported Wednesday that Afghan and international forces patrolling in Helmand province on Jan. 10 uncovered a cache of explosives and bomb-making equipment. The patrol found nine jugs of homemade explosives totaling 250 pounds, a dozen bomb pressure plates, radio-controlled bomb devices and 35 pounds of ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer, NATO said. The explosives were rigged to detonate with a cord and 200 rounds of machine gun ammunition.