Four US soldiers killed in day of Afghan war violence

Four US soldiers were killed while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, NATO said.

Kabul: Four US soldiers were killed on Sunday
while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, NATO said, as the
insurgents appeared to step up their campaign against
officials and election candidates.

The four American troopers died in three separate
incidents, in eastern and southern Afghanistan, NATO`s
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

ISAF spokesman US Air Force Master Sergeant Jason Haag
confirmed all four were Americans.

The deaths bring to 451 the total number of international
soldiers to die in the Afghan war so far this year, according
to an AFP tally based on that kept by the
website. The total in 2009 was 520.

Two of the soldiers were killed in the same incident in
eastern Afghanistan, while the other two died in separate
incidents in the south -- one in an insurgent attack, the
other after an attack with a makeshift bomb, ISAF said.

There are close to 150,000 troops in Afghanistan in a
US-led NATO force fighting to shore up Afghanistan`s
government and fight a Taliban-led insurgency, raging since
the Islamists were thrown from power in late 2001.

As the country prepares to hold its second parliamentary
elections next month, the insurgents appear to be acting on
pledges to target candidates, as well as anyone associated
with the government or foreign forces.