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Six Nato troops killed in blast

An explosion has killed six Nato service members in eastern Afghanistan.

A Nato statement said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan.

The statement provided no further details about the attack and did not identify the dead service members. The statement said Nato's policy is to allow "national authorities" to give details about the soldiers.

The service members' deaths were the latest caused by bombs planted by insurgents along roadsides, paths or mountain tracks.

In addition to the six Nato deaths, bombs and attacks killed 16 Afghan civilians, five policemen and two members of the US-led coalition in southern Afghanistan, Afghan and Nato authorities said.

The civilians, including women and children, were killed in three blasts in Arghistan district, along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.

Kandahar province spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal said one bomb exploded when a minivan ran over it on Sunday morning. A second went off when other civilians riding a tractor arrived to help the wounded. A third explosion occurred about two hours later when a civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb in another area of the district, killing two women.

At least 10 civilians were injured in the three blasts.

The policemen were killed while responding to a gun battle against insurgents early on Sunday at a checkpoint in the Musa Qala district of neighbouring Helmand province. Daoud Ahmadi, the spokesman in Helmand, said a group of Taliban fighters attacked the police checkpoint at about 3am.

Afghan police called for reinforcements, but on the way, one of the police vehicles hit a roadside bomb, killing the five policemen. Ahmadi said three other policemen were wounded in the four-hour gun battle against the insurgents. The bodies of 20 insurgents were recovered from the battlefield.


From Belfast Telegraph