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5 U.S. TROOPS DIE AS ATTACKS ENGULF AFGHANISTAN

KABUL. Afghanistan - Five Americans were killed on Saturday amid a wave of bombings, ambushes and killings that swept across Afghanistan.

At least 39 Afghan civilians and members of the Afghan security forces were also killed in attacks that struck the north, the south and the east on Friday and Saturday, Afghan officials said.

Three American service members were killed in western Afghanistan when they were attacked with a roadside bomb and then came under small-arms fire, said Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo, a press officer for the U.S. military command in Kabul. He said two more American service members were killed in eastern Afghanistan, also by a roadside bomb.

The largest single death toll in an attack came from a roadside bombing in Oruzgan province on Friday afternoon that killed 14 people in a minivan, including four women and three children, Afghan officials said.

Early Saturday in the increasingly volatile northern province of Kunduz, a district policemen poisoned the eight other police officers assigned to a guard post, said the district police chief, Juma Khan Baber. The turncoat officer killed his commander on the spot and then called his true comrades: the local Taliban. The militants beheaded or shot the seven other policemen, the district chief said.

ELECTION SHENANIGANS: After it determined that excluding questionable ballots in Afghanistan's August presidential election would force President Hamid Karzai into a runoff, the country's Independent Election Commission voted to allow them to be counted, commission and Western officials told McClatchy Newspapers. On Sept. 8, the day after the vote, the commission announced a new tally that boosted Karzai's count from about 47 percent to 54 percent of the vote - enough for him to avoid a runoff and claim a second five-year term if the margin receives a final certification.

Information from the New York Times and McClatchy Newspapers was used in this report.

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Deaths

As of Saturday, 746 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:

- Army 2nd Lt. Darryn D. Andrews, 34, Dallas; explosion Sept. 4; Paktika province.

- Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher S. Fowlkes, 20, Gaffney, S.C.; died Thursday of wounds sustained Sept. 3; Helmand province.

- Marine Gunnery Sgt. Edwin W. Johnson Jr., 31, Columbus, Ga.; combat Tuesday; Kunar province.

- Marine 1st Lt. Michael E. Johnson, 25, Virginia Beach, Va.; combat Tuesday; Kunar province.

- Marine Staff Sgt. Aaron M. Kenefick, 30, Roswell, Ga.; combat Tuesday; Kunar province.

- Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class James R. Layton, 22, Riverbank, Calif.; combat Tuesday; Kunar province.

- Army Sgt. Youvert Loney, 28, Pohnpei, Micronesia; combat Sept. 5; Abad.

- Marine Capt. Joshua S. Meadows, 30, Bastrop, Texas; combat Sept. 5; Farah province.

- Army Staff Sgt. Michael C. Murphrey, 25, Snyder, Texas; explosion Sept. 6; Paktika province.

- Army 1st Lt. Tyler E. Parten, 24, of Marianna, Ark.; combat Thursday in Konar province.

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