A U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded on Sunday in an attack by suspected Taliban guerrillas in southern Afghanistan, the military said. Elsewhere, a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan, striking a U.S. military convoy and wounding six American troops.
Unidentified attackers shot at the convoy after the blast Sunday in Kunar province’s Asadabad district, prompting U.S. forces to launch air strikes and artillery fire against suspected enemy positions, the U.S. military said in a statement.
It was not immediately known whether any enemy fighters were killed or wounded, the statement said.
The U.S. service members wounded in Sunday’s attack in eastern Afghanistan were in stable condition after being taken to an airfield in nearby Parwan province for medical treatment.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure these wounded men receive the best medical care available,” said U.S. army spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O’Hara. “We are aggressively looking for the individuals responsible for this attack.”
At least one militant was killed and two wounded in the clash that claimed a U.S. soldier on Sunday near the town of Giriskh in Helmand province, Lt. Col. Jerry O’Hara said, adding that an Afghan interpreter for U.S. forces was wounded.
On Monday, a small bomb exploded at a police checkpoint in the Afghan capital, injuring two officers and a passer-by and damaging a U.N. vehicle, police said.
The blast occurred on a road near Kabul’s airport shortly after dawn, police Gen. Mabob Amiri said. The wounded were taken to a hospital.
Suicide attack in Pakistan
Just across the border inside Pakistan a suicide attacker blew himself Sunday up near trucks preparing to cross into Afghanistan carrying fuel for U.S. forces, wounding a man and a woman, a Pakistani security official said.
The incident occurred near the Pakistan-Afghan Friendship Gate at Chaman, opposite the Afghan border town of Spin Boldak, an official of Pakistani’s paramilitary border force said.
Hospital officials said the woman was seriously hurt.
The death of the U.S. soldier brought to at least 36 the number of U.S. troops killed in combat this year, the bloodiest period for U.S. forces since they overthrew the Taliban in 2001.
Hundreds of people have died in a surge of militant violence in southern and eastern areas near the Pakistani border since March, raising concerns about Sept. 18 parliamentary polls, the next big step in Afghanistan’s difficult path to stability.
News of the death of the U.S. soldier came as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was on a one-day visit to Kabul, during which the Afghan government was expected to air its irritation about cross-border infiltration by Taliban militants.
Afghan and U.S. officials have long complained that the Taliban have organized most of its attacks from Pakistan, their main supporter until the al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington on Sept 11, 2001.
Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S.-led war against global terrorism since Sept. 11, says it is doing all it can to contain cross-border guerrilla movement.
In another incident early on Sunday, suspected Taliban guerrillas blew up a Western-funded hospital Maiwand district of Kandahar province to the north of Spin Boldak, injuring one person, police said. Taliban officials could not immediately be reached for comment.