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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Afghan blast kills four US-led troops

A bomb ripped through a military vehicle in Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing four soldiers from the US-led coalition and an Afghan civilian after 16 militants were killed in a raid, the force said.

Improvised roadside bombs are often planted by Taliban militants who are waging an insurgency against the US-backed government that last year saw the highest number of attacks since the hardliners were removed from power in 2001.

"Four coalition members were killed today in southern Afghanistan when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device," a statement from the coalition force said.

"An Afghan civilian working with the coalition forces was also killed in the incident."

The nationalities of the soldiers and identity of the Afghan were not released.

The blast takes to 43 the number of foreign soldiers to lose their lives in Afghanistan this year, most in hostile action, according to the icasualties website that tracks such incidents.

The coalition announced separately that soldiers had killed 16 militants in the southern province of Helmand on Monday after they had come under attack while on patrol. More