Taliban claims Afghanistan bombing which left 6 U.S. troops dead

GENERIC, afghanistan, U.S., troops, map CBS

(CBS/AP) KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S. officials confirm to CBS News that a roadside bombing Sunday in eastern Afghanistan killed six American service members - a blast which the Taliban claimed responsibility for on Monday morning.

The statement from Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the soldiers died when their tank ran over a bomb around 8 p.m. Sunday in Wardak province, south of Kabul.

NATO would not disclose the nationalities of the service members killed, but officials confirmed to CBS News correspondent David Martin that they were American.

Wardak provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoi said after the blast in Jalrez district, a coalition air strike killed a local Taliban commander and wounded three insurgents.

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Also in the east, authorities said a chief prosecutor in Ghazni province was assassinated Monday morning as he drove to work. The Taliban routinely target Afghan government officials.

In addition to the six U.S. deaths, bombs and attacks killed 16 Afghan civilians, five policemen and two members of the U.S.-led coalition in southern Afghanistan, Afghan and NATO authorities said.

The civilians, including women and children, were killed in three blasts in Arghistan district, along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.

Kandahar province spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal said one bomb exploded when a minivan ran over it Sunday morning. A second went off when other civilians riding a tractor arrived to help the wounded. A third explosion occurred about two hours later when a civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb in another area of the district, killing two women.

At least 10 civilians were injured in the three blasts.

According to the United Nations, last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed. The number of Afghan civilians killed dropped 36 percent in the first four months of this year compared with last year, but the U.N. says that too many are still being caught up in violence.

Separately, two NATO service members were killed in southern Afghanistan — one in a roadside bomb explosion on Saturday and the other during an insurgent attack on Sunday.

NATO did not disclose where the incidents occurred or provide the nationalities of the soldiers killed.

So far this year, more than 225 NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan.

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