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Suicide Attack Kills 3 NATO Soldiers in Afghanistan
VOA News/Ayaz Gul
ISLAMABAD — NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan announced Sunday three of its soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a combined, dismounted patrol with local forces.
An American service member and two Afghan National Army soldiers were also injured in the blast, the mission said.
“My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all of the 41-contributing Resolute Support nations, are with the families and friends of our fallen and wounded service members, and our injured Afghan brothers and their families,” said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, who commands the non-combatant mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The Resolute Support mission later confirmed the slain soldiers were from the Czech Republic.
“Their sacrifice will endure in both our hearts and history, and further strengthen our resolve,” said Nicholson.
The NATO mission did not say where the attack took place. Afghan officials said the suicide bombing occurred in Parwan province, nearly 60 kilometers north of the capital, Kabul.
Just hours before NATO’s announcement, the Taliban claimed it carried out a «tactical blast» against an American military convoy in Charikar, the capital city of Parwan.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the attack killed or wounded eight U.S. soldiers, though insurgent claims are often inflated.
The province houses the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, known as Bagram Air Base, located 11 kilometers southeast of Charikar.
US forces deployed to Farah
Sunday’s attack came on a day when the Afghan Defense Ministry confirmed U.S. military trainers and advisers have been deployed to restive western Farah province, which borders Iran. The is the first deployment of American personnel in the region in recent months.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told VOA American personnel will train and advise Afghan officers, including those in troubled districts, under the command of the Resolute Support mission,
The Taliban has recently made battlefield gains in the Afghan province, allegedly with covert assistance from Tehran, charges Iranian officials reject.
Farah is located along the route of an international gas pipeline that aims to connect Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan.
Fighting in eastern Paktia Province
Separately on Sunday, Afghan security officials said Taliban insurgents attacked several police outposts in a remote district of eastern Paktia province, killing eight Afghan troops.
The ensuing ongoing clashes also killed more than 20 assailants, they said.
Meanwhile, Islamic State has taken responsibility for Friday’s gun-and-suicide bomb raid on a Shi’ite mosque in Paktia’s capital, Gardez.
Police and hospital officials said the attack in the city killed 35 worshipers and injured more than 90 others.