Roadside bombs kill 2 NATO and 5 Afghan troops

By the Associated Press | October 22, 2011 | 7:11 AM EDT

A man looks on while walking by photos of Afghan former Presidents, politicians and celebrities displayed for sale on a roadside in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bomb killed two NATO service members on Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said, in a day of violence that left a total of seven Afghan army and NATO personnel dead.

The U.S.-led coalition did not provide additional details, but the deaths raise to 471 the number of NATO troops killed so far this year in the country.

The deaths come as Afghan and international forces are stepping up their fight against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked insurgents in the east of the country, with a focus along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.

That area is rife with insurgent activity and the top NATO commander in the country said the alliance had recently launched an operation in the east targeting the feared Haqqani network, a group that operates from within Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, a roadside mine exploded as four Afghan army soldiers and an officer were passing by on the way back to their base in the western Afghan province of Herat's Pashtun Zarghun district, said Mohyaddin Noori, the spokesman for the province's governor.

Noori said the five were ferrying food back to the base at about 10 a.m. when the mine exploded. He said it was unclear whether or not the mine had been detonated by remote control or if the vehicle had driven over it.