KABUL, Afghanistan — Eight NATO service members were killed Thursday in Afghanistan, including seven U.S. troops who died when a powerful bomb exploded in a field where they were patrolling on foot, the international military coalition and Afghan police said.
Two Afghan policemen also died and two others were wounded in the explosion in mountainous Shorabak district of Kandahar province, 12 miles from the Pakistan border, said Gen. Abdul Raziq, chief of the Afghan border police in the province. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.
Besides the seven troops killed in the bombing, the U.S.-led coalition reported that an eighth NATO service member was killed when a helicopter crashed in the east. The U.S.-led coalition did not release further details of the deaths.
It was the deadliest day for coalition forces in Afghanistan since April 27, when a veteran Afghan military pilot opened fire at the Kabul airport and killed eight U.S. troops and an American civilian contractor.
Thursday's blast was the worst single attack against NATO forces by one of the Taliban's crude, homemade bombs since October 2009.
Tens of thousands of U.S., NATO and Afghan forces have been working for months to rout the Taliban from their strongholds in the south.
Thirty-eight international service members have been killed so far this month, including at least 13 Americans. So far this year, 189 coalition troops have died in Afghanistan.