Five NATO troops, including 3 US, killed in Afghanistan
Two NATO and three US soldiers were killed in separate attacks Saturday in southern Afghanistan, the same day thousands of US, British and Afghan forces began their biggest-ever operations in the country, dpa reported.
One NATO soldier was killed in a roadside bomb attack in the volatile region, while another died of small arms fire from the suspected Taliban in the same region, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
The statement did not disclose the nationalities of the deceased, nor did it provide information about the exact location of Saturday's incidents. Most of the foreign soldiers in the region are from the US, Britain, Canada and the Netherlands.
Separately, three US soldiers, also serving under the banner of ISAF forces in the southern region, were killed when a homemade bomb exploded on Saturday, a separate NATO military statement said.
NATO did not say if the two troops were taking part in any offensive, but said that the three US service members were not part of the major operations carried out by some 15,000 US-led forces in southern Helmand province.
A suicide bomber also hit a NATO-led convoy in Kandahar city, the provincial capital for the province of the same name, on Saturday, Sardar Mohammad Zazai, the provincial police chief said.
He could not say if there were any casualties. But Mohammad Nader, a resident of the city's Bagh-e-Pul area, said that NATO helicopters landed in the area, suggesting that there could have been casualties. NATO forces often evacuate their victims by choppers.
NATO military would not confirm if it was the same incident.
In the neighbouring province of Helmand, the combined forces of the operation - named Mushtarak, which means "together" - began their highly publicized offensive shortly after midnight Saturday. They have so far killed five insurgents, officials said.