June 11, 2005 in Nation/World

Ambush kills U.S. soldier

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan – An American soldier was killed and three U.S. troops were wounded when insurgents ambushed a patrol Friday in eastern Afghanistan – the third deadly attack on U.S. forces in the border region in a week.

Seven militants were killed in fighting set off by the ambush of U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces in Paktika province, a U.S. military statement said. The militants fled after the fighting and American forces deployed attack aircraft in pursuit.

Fighting in Paktika has killed five U.S. troops in the past week. The province is next to the Pakistani border and militants based in tribal regions on the other side of the mountainous frontier often cross into Afghanistan to launch attacks. Seventeen suspected Taliban militants were reported captured in the area Monday.

Two American soldiers wounded in Friday’s attack were taken to a nearby base for treatment while the third was treated and returned to duty, the military statement said.

“Our patrols of coalition and Afghan forces are relentless in the pursuit of the enemy,” Army Brig. Gen. Jack Sterling was quoted as saying of Friday’s clash. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our soldier and will honor him by continuing to take the fight to the enemy.”

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