Two U.S.-Led Coalition Soliders Killed in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan – A roadside bomb and gunfight in eastern Afghanistan left two U.S.-led coalition soldiers dead and another two wounded on Saturday as six insurgents were killed in clashes with police in the south, officials said.
The soldiers died when a roadside bomb exploded while they were conducting a combat patrol in the eastern Lagham Province, triggering a gunfight between coalition forces and "a group of enemy extremists," according to a statement issued by the U.S. military.
The military didn't reveal the names and nationality of the slain and wounded soldiers and only said the injured had been transported to a hospital where they were listed in a stable condition.
Separately, police clashed with suspected Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan Friday, killing six and wounding 12 insurgents, a district chief said.
One policeman was also wounded after militants attacked the Argandab district chief's compound in the southern province of Zabul, said Hussein Ali, the district chief.
The militants left the bodies of the dead and took away the wounded following the five-hour clash, Ali said. Police also recovered weapons from the scene, he said.
Afghanistan is going through its worst bout of violence since late 2001 when an American-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime for hosting Usama bin Laden.
Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai ordered a probe Friday into the killings of eight people in a raid U.S. forces claimed targeted Al Qaeda members but local police said were civilians — the second time in a week his government has questioned the military's tactics.
The inquiry into Thursday's killings in eastern Kunar province is Karzai's latest show of displeasure towards the coalition forces that he depends on to protect his weak government from resurgent Taliban and Al Qaeda militants. Karzai has repeatedly demanded foreign forces take more care to avoid civilians casualties when conducting operations.
The U.S. military said a joint American-Afghan force descended on a compound in Shigal district to nab an "Al Qaeda facilitator" wanted for attacks on coalition and Afghan forces in the region.
Gunmen inside the compound shot at the troops, who returned fire and killed seven suspected l Qaeda members, including the facilitator, the military said. A child was also killed in the clash and a woman wounded.
But police said U.S.-led forces attacked a building where two families were trying to resolve a dispute with the help of tribal elders.