updated 6/10/2005 12:27:32 PM ET 2005-06-10T16:27:32

One American soldier was killed and three were wounded Friday in fighting that also killed seven militants in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said.

The clash occurred in Paktika province, near the Pakistani border, after the insurgents ambushed a patrol of U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces, a military statement said.

Two of the wounded Americans were evacuated to a nearby base for treatment while the third was treated and returned to duty, it said.

“Our patrols of coalition and Afghan forces are relentless in the pursuit of the enemy,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jack Sterling, deputy commanding general. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our soldier and will honor him by continuing to take the fight to the enemy.”

The militants fled after the fighting and American forces deployed attack aircraft to search for them, the statement said.

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