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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
US troops killed in Afghan blast
US soldier in Afghanistan
Violence has risen sharply over the past month
Two US soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the US military has confirmed.

The troops killed in the roadside blast in Nangarhar province had previously been identified only as members of the US-led coalition.

In other violence on Tuesday, four died in a bomb attack in a mosque in Ghazni province, officials said. Three Afghan soldiers died in a separate bombing.

Attacks blamed on the Taleban and their allies have risen sharply this year.

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The US military said the soldiers killed in Nangarhar had been on patrol "conducting combat security operations" when the roadside bomb exploded.

A third US soldier and an Afghan interpreter were wounded, and the vehicle they were driving in was badly damaged.

Tuesday's attack in Kunar province killed three Afghan soldiers, the defence ministry confirmed on Wednesday. Five others were injured in the roadside blast in Wattapour district, an Afghan security official told the BBC on Tuesday.

Mosque blast

In the mosque attack, the suspected bomber was seriously hurt, officials said. Witnesses said he blew himself up inside the mosque while people were praying.

Ghazni Governor Alam Ibrahimi told the BBC that at least 10 people were injured in the blast at the mosque, which also serves as an Islamic school or madrassa, in Qala Qazi, a village about 4km (2.5 miles) from the city of Ghazni.

"The attacker is a foreigner," Mr Ibrahimi said. "We don't know his identity."

There have been at least three attacks in mosques in Afghanistan in the past year.

Last October, a leading cleric was killed by a bomb inside a mosque in Khost province and more than 20 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Kandahar last June.

Earlier on Tuesday, the US military said that at least three US soldiers were injured when a suspected suicide car bomber attacked their convoy about 9km (5.5 miles) from the eastern town of Khost, close to the border with Pakistan.

The governor of Khost province, Mirajudin Patan, repeated accusations that Pakistani officials were orchestrating a campaign of suicide attacks in southern Afghanistan.

A man claiming to be a Taleban representative, Sayed Sharif, said the group had carried out the attack.

Correspondents say that until recently suicide bombings in Afghanistan were rare.

Tuesday's attack brings the number of suicide attacks in the south of Afghanistan this year to more than 20.

Nearly all the attacks are blamed on the Taleban who were ousted from government by a US-led coalition in late 2001.

About 400 people were killed last month alone, in what correspondents say is an apparent attempt to weaken Nato's resolve ahead of plans by the US-led coalition to hand control of the southern provinces to the alliance's peacekeeping force in July.


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