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6 NATO troops killed in 3 separate attacks in Afghanistan

U.S. Marine Sgt. Ryan Stogner, left, of New Orleans reports a blast from an improvised explosive device while Marine Cpl. Kenneth Saeger keeps watch Wednesday in Kajaki, Afghanistan.

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U.S. Marine Sgt. Ryan Stogner, left, of New Orleans reports a blast from an improvised explosive device while Marine Cpl. Kenneth Saeger keeps watch Wednesday in Kajaki, Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Six NATO service members were killed in three separate attacks across Afghanistan on Wednesday, military officials said, including a roadside bombing in the south that killed four troops.

The other two deaths occurred in a separate explosion in the south and an attack in the east, the Western military said.

With more than two months to go, 2010 has already been the most lethal of the conflict for Western forces in Afghanistan. In August, U.S. troop deaths hit their highest levels of the war, which entered its 10th year this month.

NATO did not provide nationalities of the dead, or specific locations where the attacks occurred.

The number of American forces in Afghanistan now stands at about 100,000, making up roughly two-thirds of the international force. The bulk of U.S. troops are deployed in the country's south, where the insurgency is strongest.

Plane crash victims

Also Wednesday, Afghan authorities provided the nationalities of eight civilian contractors killed in the crash near the capital of a cargo plane operating under U.S. contract. Six were Filipino, one Indian and one Kenyan, the Afghan military said.

The L-100 Hercules, on a short-hop flight from Bagram airfield, slammed into a steep mountainside Tuesday while on approach to Kabul's airport.

U.N. extends Afghan force

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend U.N. authorization for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for a year, expressing "strong concern" at the increase in terrorist activities by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other armed groups. A resolution adopted by the U.N.'s most powerful body stressed the need for sustained efforts by the 143,000-strong International Security Assistance Force to assist the Afghan government in improving security and addressing extremist threats.

NATO aids Taliban contacts: The Associated Press reported Wednesday that it was told by a senior NATO official that U.S. and NATO forces are helping Taliban leaders hold talks with the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan, and that some talks have taken place in Kabul. The government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged some high-level contact with the Taliban.

Plea for private security: The United States and its NATO allies, worried about the Afghan government's ban on private security companies, have asked President Hamid Karzai to sign a letter allowing such companies to continue protecting the foreign donor community, the Washington Post reported. Karzai was given the letter by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

Missiles strikes kill 11: Unmanned aircraft launched four missile strikes in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan that killed 11 militants, the Associated Press said it was told by intelligence officials.

Times wires

U.N. extends Afghan force

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend U.N. authorization for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for a year, expressing "strong concern" at the increase in terrorist activities by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other armed groups. A resolution adopted by the council stated a need for efforts by the 143,000-strong International Security Assistance Force to help the Afghan government improve security and address threats.

NATO aids Taliban contacts: The Associated Press reported Wednesday that it was told by a senior NATO official that U.S. and NATO forces are helping Taliban leaders hold talks with the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan.

Plea for private security: The United States and its NATO allies, worried about the Afghan ban on private security companies, have asked President Hamid Karzai to sign a letter allowing such companies to protect the foreign donor community, the Washington Post reported.

Missile strikes kill 11: Four strikes by unmanned aircraft in North Waziristan near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan killed 11 militants, the Associated Press said it was told by officials.

Times wires

6 NATO troops killed in 3 separate attacks in Afghanistan 10/13/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 11:55pm]

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