KABUL, Afghanistan – Militants attacked a U.S. patrol with rocket-propelled grenades, killing three Americans in Afghanistan’s northeast, one of the wildest regions in the country, an official said Saturday. U.S. soldiers have been hunting extremists close to Osama bin Laden’s terror network in the area near Pakistan.
U.S. troops used artillery to repel the attack in Nuristan province Friday, said Col. Tom Collins.
The clash in Nuristan province’s Waygal district on Friday also wounded three U.S. soldiers and one civilian as American forces kept up their hunt for Taliban fighters and extremists close to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network that are holed up in remote mountains hugging the Pakistani border.
In recent weeks, U.S. forces have been pushing to their northernmost points along the mountainous Afghan-Pakistan border, including Nuristan, opening military bases in one of the wildest regions in the country.
Their mission is to crush militants loyal to the Hezb-e-Islami militant group of renegade Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the toppled Taliban regime and remnants of bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.