Kabul: Three NATO soldiers were killed
when their patrol was struck by a bomb in southern Afghanistan
and then ambushed by insurgents, the alliance force said
Yesterday`s killings exacerbate a bloody start to
the month for international troops helping quell an extremist
insurgency, with 15 others killed so far, according to
icasualties.org, which compiles a toll.
"The patrol responded to the attack but three
service members died in the engagement," the International
Security Assistance Force said in a statement.
ISAF did not give the nationalities of the dead,
leaving this to their home countries. Most soldiers in the
south, an insurgent hotbed, are American, British or Canadian.
Thousands of US Marines poured into the south
earlier this year to try to secure militant strongholds ahead
of August 20 presidential and provincial council elections.
British troops have been under pressure in southern
Helmand province, hub of a drugs trade that helps fund the
Last month was the deadliest for foreign troops in
Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion forced the
extremist Taliban regime from power for sheltering Al-Qaeda
following the September 11 attacks.
Most of the 76 deaths were in hostile attacks, the
independent icasualties said.
There are more than 100,000 international soldiers
in Afghanistan, including 62,000 Americans, according to