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Roadside bomb kills 4 U.S. troops, civilian in Afghanistan

February 25, 2009|Associated Press

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — A roadside bomb killed four U.S. troops Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, inflicting the year's deadliest single attack on international forces a week after Washington set plans to send reinforcements. An Afghan civilian working with the Americans also died.

The Americans were patrolling with Afghan soldiers when their vehicle was hit, the U.S. military said in a statement. The military withheld identities of the dead and the attack's location pending notification of relatives.

The previous deadliest attack on U.S. troops this year was a January explosion in Zabol province that killed three Americans.

Thirty U.S. military personnel have died in Afghanistan this year, far surpassing the eight Americans killed in the first two months of 2008. A total of 660 have died since the U.S.-led offensive that ousted Afghanistan's Taliban regime in late 2001, according to the independent icasualties.org.

Taliban militants have increased attacks the last three years and now hold sway in large areas of countryside.

President Obama announced Feb. 17 that he had decided to send 17,000 more soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan, adding to the 38,000 already fighting. Many of the U.S. troops now operate in Taliban strongholds in the dangerous south.

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