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Roadside bomb kills 2 US soldiers
Updated: 2004-08-08 13:32

A roadside bomb hit an American Humvee in southeastern Afghanistan, killing two US soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, the American military said Sunday.

Another US soldier was injured in the blast on Saturday morning about 60 miles southwest of Ghazni, a military statement said. The wounded soldier was flown to the US base in the southern city of Kandahar for treatment and was in stable condition.

The dead soldiers would not be identified before next of kin were notified, according to the statement, which provided no further details.

About 58 American soldiers have died in action in Afghanistan since US forces entered the country in 2001 to drive out the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies.

Twenty-three of the combat deaths have occurred this year, meaning 2004 is already the deadliest year. American and Afghan officials have insisted that militants are on the defensive and security is improving.

Violence has intensified in recent months as the country prepares for its first post-Taliban election — a vote for president on October 9 which US-backed President Hamid Karzai is widely expected to win.

In the past week alone, gunmen ambushed and killed a convoy carrying election workers in Uruzgan province, killing two; two Afghans working for a German relief agency died in a hail of gunfire in Paktia; and twin attacks in Zabul left six American soldiers wounded, two of them seriously.

The US-led force of some 18,000 is joining up with about 30,000 newly trained Afghan national police and army soldiers as well as up to 10,000 NATO troops to provide security for the elections.

But commanders have warned that they expect further violence, including attacks on civilian targets as groups such as the Taliban try to disrupt the vote.

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