Monday, December 06, 2010   Zilhajj 29, 1431 A.H.    ISSN 1563-9479
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Four soldiers perish in Afghan suicide blast
 Monday, December 06, 2010 
 xKHOST: Two Nato and two Afghan soldiers were killed in a suicide attack at a market close to a joint military base in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, coalition and local officials said.
An unknown number of Afghan soldiers and troops with Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were also injured in the blast that tore through the bazaar in Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia.
“There was some sort of explosion near the operating base in Gardez district. Two ISAF service members were killed,” Nato spokesman Master Sergeant Jason Haag told AFP. He did not reveal the nationalities of the dead in line with ISAF policy, but nearly all the foreign troops in the area are American.
Gulam Dastagir Rostumyar, the deputy provincial police chief, said the attack took place on a flea market outside the Afghan military base that sits alongside a US installation.
“Two Afghan National Army soldiers were killed and four were wounded,” he said.
General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, an Afghan defence ministry spokesman, said at
least five Afghan soldiers were injured.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed contacted AFP from an unknown location to claim responsibility for the suicide bombing.
ISAF later reported a third coalition death in the south of the country, “following an insurgent attack”, it said, in an emailed statement that gave no further details.
The latest deaths take to 678 the number of coalition troops killed this year, by far the bloodiest toll in the nine-year war, according to an AFP tally based on that tracked by the independent website.
The insurgents principally use suicide attacks and homemade bombs to attack Afghan security forces and more than 140,000 US-led troops fighting a counter-insurgency campaign mostly in the south and east of the country.
US and Nato forces hope to bring the number of Afghan soldiers up to 170,000 along with 134,000 policemen by October next year.

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