Seven American service members were killed on Monday in two separate roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, NATO said.
No details were given of the attacks, although eyewitnesses in the southern city of Kandahar said an armored US Army Humvee hit a roadside bomb in the early afternoon. Several bodies were seen being removed from the vehicle, which was set on fire by the blast. The deaths bring to 14 the number of US troops killed in action in eastern and southern Afghanistan over the past three days.
A spike in US troop numbers in Afghanistan to over 120,000 has brought increased contact with insurgents and a rising death toll. Forty-nine US service members have died in Afghanistan this month, still fewer than the 66 killed in July.
To the east in Nangarhar province, the head of Lal Pur district, Syad Mohammad Palawan, was killed when a bomb planted on his vehicle exploded as he was driving into a government compound to attend a meeting of provincial security and political leaders, said police spokesman Ghafor Khan.
Insurgents apparently planned for the bomb to explode inside the compound in the provincial capital Jalalabad where it could potentially have caused far greater destruction, Khan said. Three of Palawan's bodyguards were wounded, Khan said, while the Interior Ministry put the figure at five.