updated 2/14/2004 7:48:00 AM ET 2004-02-14T12:48:00

A U.S. soldier died and nine others were wounded when an anti-tank mine exploded underneath their Humvee in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Saturday.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the mine, which exploded Friday, was targeted at the U.S. patrol or was one of the many unexploded munitions that litter Afghanistan after more than two decades of war.

“It’s hard to tell if it was a deliberate attack or just a leftover mine,” U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said.

Four of the wounded Americans were treated at the scene while a helicopter evacuated the others to a hospital in Bagram, at the main U.S. base in the country. Two were later flown to an American military hospital in Germany for treatment, Hilferty said.

The soldiers were from the 10th Mountain Division, based in Fort Drum, N.Y. Their names were no released.

The blast occurred near Ghazni, about 80 miles south of Kabul. A Jan. 30 explosion at an arms dump in the area killed eight U.S. soldiers in what the military said appeared to have been an accident.

Since the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom following the Sept. 11 attacks, 109 U.S. troops have died. About two-thirds of those deaths occurred in Afghanistan, many in accidents, with the rest in other countries.

More than 100 people have died in violence in Afghanistan since the start of this year, as a Taliban-led insurgency roils the south and east of the country, casting doubt on plans for national elections this summer.

In the latest deadly attack, a remote-controlled mine exploded Friday in eastern Khost province, killing a police officer and a civilian. Five civilians and another policeman were also injured.

That attack came hours after some 20 rockets were fired at the airport in Khost city that houses the third-largest U.S. base in Afghanistan, causing no casualties and drawing retaliatory airstrikes from American forces.

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