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Afghan bombs kill 6 American troops

TWO roadside bombs killed six American troops in Afghanistan yesterday as a suicide bomber attacked the gate of the main NATO base in the south.

The attacks come as thousands of United States marines continued with their massive anti-Taliban offensive in the south, the biggest American military operation there since the ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001.

American troops recently received new guidelines limiting use of airstrikes in order to minimize Afghan civilian casualties that threaten local support of foreign forces' presence.

Four US soldiers died when their vehicles struck a roadside bomb in Kunduz Province in the north, said Navy Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo, a military spokesman. The dead were training Afghan forces, Naranjo said.

In the south another explosion killed two more American troops, Naranjo said, without providing details.

The six American deaths came as thousands of marines continued with their offensive against the Taliban in neighboring Helmand Province, a militant stronghold and hub of the vast Afghan drugs trade.

The Taliban have made a violent comeback, with control of large chunks of the volatile south and east.

Civilian deaths caused by US and NATO military operations have long been a source of friction between President Hamid Karzai and the West.


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