KABUL, Afghanistan – A bomb exploded near a taxi on a busy Kabul road Tuesday, killing two Afghans, and a U.S. soldier and seven militants died in fighting in the east – the latest wave of violence threatening Western attempts to rebuild Afghanistan.
The U.S.-led coalition announced it had killed more than 600 Taliban rebels in the past six weeks during an operation with Afghan forces to crush insurgents in the south.
The Afghan government, meanwhile, launched an urgent appeal for more than $75 million to tackle an “imminent food crisis” caused by prolonged drought, particularly in the north and northwest.
Tuesday’s bomb in Kabul – the latest in a series of recent blasts that have rattled nerves in the capital – killed a man and woman riding in a taxi and wounded four other people, police official Faiz Ahmad Hotaq.
In eastern Kunar province, a U.S. soldier was killed Monday in a gun battle with militants, coalition spokesman Col. Tom Collins said.
At least 258 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department.
The U.S. military also said Tuesday that two American engineer soldiers were seriously wounded in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Khost province. Their wounds were not life-threatening.