3 NATO Troops Killed in East Afghan Bombing

A roadside bomb attack killed three NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan, one of the deadliest flashpoints in the 10-year war against Taliban insurgents, the military said Wednesday.

NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not release the nationalities of the troops or give further details of the incident, which happened on Tuesday.

The deaths take to 561 the number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year, according to an Agence France Presse tally based on figures from independent

A total of 711 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan last year, the highest annual total since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 ousted the Taliban from power.

There are about 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban-led insurgency, with 91,000 of them from the United States.

Much of the worst fighting takes place in the east of the country, close to the border with Pakistan, where U.S. and Afghan officials say the Taliban use rear bases to regroup and plot attacks.

Pakistan closed its supply routes to NATO after U.S. air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 close to the mountainous, porous border.

Amid declining support for the war and a gloomy economy in the West, all foreign combat troops are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, by which time Afghan forces and officials are supposed to take full control.

On Tuesday, President Hamid Karzai called on NATO to disband an irregular security force operating in northern provinces, saying it had been set up "unilaterally" without coordination with the Afghan government.

NATO said Wednesday that all such security programs are being disbanded or shifted to Afghan government control.

Source: Agence France Presse

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