Wire: 4 US Troops Die in Afghanistan Bomb Attack
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that four more American troops died in a bombing in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Friday.
The Associated Press reported that two of the U.S. servicemembers were killed instantly in the Thursday blast and two others died of their wounds, the U.S. said in a statement. No further details were released.
The deaths bring to 25 the number of American servicemembers killed in Afghanistan this month, according to an AP count.
Elsewhere, four Afghans, including at least two civilians, died during a firefight Friday between militants and a joint international-Afghan force in Ghazni province. There were conflicting accounts of the gunbattle.Insurgent violence has increased across Afghanistan this year, coinciding with the implementation of President Barack Obama's military strategy. Obama has been considering whether to commit still more American troops to the about 65,000 already here. The White House has said a decision on Afghan strategy will be made in "the coming weeks."
The NATO-led coalition said two militants fired from a two-story building and troops returned fire, killing a pair of gunmen. "When the joint force entered the building, they discovered two civilians who subsequently died from their wounds," the coalition said in a statement. "It is unclear if the enemy militants or the joint force are responsible for the deaths."
Ghazni police chief Gen. Khail Buz Sherzai said the dead were all civilians from the same family. A native of Mangor village, Mohammad Sarwar, said the operation began late Thursday when U.S. and Afghan forces raided several houses overnight, blowing apart doors and window with explosives. He also said four civilians were killed in the operation and several were beaten.
(Report from newswire sources.)