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Three Americans Killed in Roadside Bombing in Afghanistan – The Wall Street Journal

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Black Hawk helicopters took off from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan earlier this year.


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Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

KABUL—Three American military personnel were killed in a roadside bombing on Tuesday in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, the U.S. military said, the deadliest incident for U.S. troops this year.

Three other U.S. service members and American contractor were also wounded when the improvised explosive device detonated near the provincial capital. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

In all, 13 troops have died in combat in Afghanistan this year, five in the last month.

In a statement issued by the U.S. military on Tuesday, the identities of the slain service members were not disclosed, pending notification of their families.

The statement provided no other details on the incident. Mohammad Arif Noori, a spokesman for Ghazni’s governor, said that the military personnel were killed when a bomb struck an armored vehicle five miles outside the provincial capital.

U.S. Army Lt. Ubon Mendie, a spokesman for U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan, said the wounded military personnel and the American contractor had been evacuated and were receiving medical treatment.

The province has been the site of ongoing fighting between U.S.-backed government forces and the Taliban.

During a visit to the province last week by the commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, local authorities urged him to intensify efforts to clear the province of insurgents, said Mr. Noori, the spokesman for Ghazni’s governor. A clearing operation began Monday, he said. During his visit, Gen. Miller carried an M4 assault rifle, a visual display of the precarious security situation there for the U.S. military.

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In August, insurgents overran large parts of the provincial capital, leading to four days of fighting that again exposed the weaknesses of the Afghan security forces in coordinating their operations and repelling insurgent threats. Continuing violence forced authorities to cancel voting in the province in last month’s parliamentary elections.

Tuesday’s bombing brought to four the number of U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan in recent days.

On Saturday, an U.S. Army Ranger was killed while conducting an operation to eliminate al Qaeda militants in Nimroz province. The U.S. military said that a review indicated that the soldier, Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, from Leavenworth, Wash., was likely accidentally shot by government forces during a siege of “barricaded al Qaeda shooters.”

On Monday night, Sgt. Jasso’s remains were returned to the U.S.

Write to Ehsanullah Amiri at Ehsanullah.Amiri@wsj.com

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