Roadside Bomb Kills 4 Coalition Troops in Afghanistan

By Heidi Vogt | February 24, 2009 | 10:20 AM EST
Kabul (AP) - A roadside bomb killed four troops from the U.S.-backed coalition in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, while 16 militants were killed in a separate clash, the U.S. military said.
The troops died when their vehicle struck a bomb while on an overnight patrol in southern Helmand province, the military said in a statement. An Afghan civilian working with coalition forces was also killed. U.S. military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias declined to give the troops' nationalities until relatives were informed.
In a separate incident in the province Monday, coalition and Afghan forces killed 16 militants when responding to fire from insurgents on their convoy, the U.S. said in another statement. There were no other reports of casualties, the statement said.
Helmand officials could not immediately be reached for further details.
Afghanistan's southern provinces continue to be Taliban strongholds wracked by violence, even years after the overthrow of the hard-line Islamist regime in 2001. President Barack Obama has agreed to dispatch another 17,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, adding to about 38,000 American troops already fighting the country's strengthening insurgency.
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