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Three U.S. troops killed in ambush

KABUL — Three American soldiers died in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, raising NATO's two-day August death toll to nine and continuing the bloodiest period of the eight-year war for U.S. and allied troops.

The U.S. troops were shot after a roadside bomb attack on their convoy, the U.S. military said.

On Saturday, six NATO troops, including three Americans troops, died in fierce fighting.

July was the deadliest month for international troops since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban government for sheltering al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, with 74 foreign troops, including 43 Americans, killed.

The record 62,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan are more than double the number a year ago.

President Barack Obama has increased the U.S. focus on Afghanistan as the Pentagon begins pulling troops out of Iraq.

Other NATO countries have about 39,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Kai Eide, the U.N.'s representative in Afghanistan, meanwhile, called for peace talks with the Taliban's top leadership, saying deals with local militant commanders as proposed by Britain's foreign secretary would not be enough to end the violence.

Eide's call is another indication that parts of the international community favor reaching out to the top echelons of the radical Islamist movement in attempts to bring peace as the conflict widens and Western public opinion wavers in the face of rising death tolls.

Eide's remarks follow calls made last week by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband for talks with regular Taliban fighters.

Three U.S. troops killed in ambush 08/02/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 2, 2009 9:23pm]

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