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Attack on US troops near Afghan airport deadliest in months

Published 22/12/2015

US Army soldiers in a patrol of Qalanderkhail, outside Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan (AP)
US Army soldiers in a patrol of Qalanderkhail, outside Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan (AP)

A suicide attack on US troops that killed six near Afghanistan's Bagram airport was the deadliest assault on international forces since August.

Two US troops and an Afghan were also wounded when the bomber rammed an explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint Nato-Afghan patrol on Monday.

The soldiers were targeted as they moved through a village near Bagram Airfield, the largest US military facility in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those affected in this tragic incident, especially during this holiday season," said US Army Brigadier General William Shoffner, head of public affairs at Nato's Resolute Support base in the Afghan capital Kabul.

In New York, Police Commissioner William Bratton said a New York City police detective, Joseph Lemm, was one of the six American killed in the attack.

The 1 5-year-old veteran of the New York Police Department worked in the Bronx Warrant Squad. He served in the US National Guard and, while a member of the police force, he had been deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

In Washington, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the nation's thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and their loved ones, and that the US will continue to work jointly with Afghans to promote peace and stability in their country.

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