A roadside bomb has killed five U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan, less than a week after 30 American troops were killed in the deadliest single incident for U.S. forces during the decade-long war.
U.S. military officials confirmed the nationalities of those killed by an improvised explosive device on Thursday, but did not give further details of the attack. Another NATO soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in the region the day before.
Elsewhere in the south, Afghan officials say five Afghan police officers were killed after Taliban insurgents attacked their checkpoint in Helmand province late Wednesday.
Violence in Afghanistan remains at a high level nearly 10 years after the start of the war. Almost 390 foreign troops have been killed there so far this year, compared to 711 deaths in all of 2010.
Last week, 30 American and eight Afghan troops were killed when their CH-47 helicopter crashed after being shot at by Taliban insurgents in Tangi Valley in Wardak province.
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, said Wednesday that a precision air strike by coalition forces had killed several Taliban militants, including the insurgent who fired the fatal shot at the helicopter.
Taliban officials on Thursday denied that the militant responsible for the crash was killed, saying the fighter is “busy conducting jihad elsewhere.”
The crash last Saturday killed 17 Navy SEALS, five Navy special operations troops, three Air Force special operations personnel, and five members of the Army. Previous reports said that 22 SEALS were killed.
On Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released the names of the American service members killed in the crash, despite objections from officers at U.S. Special Operations Command, who had security concerns about the release of information.
A probe is under way to review the circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash. General Allen noted Wednesday that while a rocket-propelled grenade was at least partly to blame, small arms fire also may have played a role.