2 NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

August 15, 2008 8:13:33 AM PDT
Militants attacked a NATO patrol with a roadside bomb and small arms fire in eastern Afghanistan Friday, killing two troops, the alliance said in a statement. NATO did not release the nationalities of the dead troops. Most of the troops in the area are American.

At least 93 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan this year, a pace that would make 2008 the deadliest for American forces since the 2001 invasion.

More than 3,200 people have died in violence countrywide so far this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures provided by Afghan and Western officials.

The ambush on the NATO patrol happened a day after U.S.

coalition dogs bit two fleeing suspected Taliban militants during an operation in another eastern region, in which a total of eight insurgents were detained, the coalition said Friday.

The raid Thursday in Paktika province targeted a Taliban subcommander wanted for kidnapping, killing Afghan soldiers and involvement in roadside attacks, it said.

During the operation, "two militants attempted to flee and were pursued by coalition military working dogs," the coalition said in a statement. "Both militants received dog-bite injuries, one of which required treatment on scene by coalition medical personnel."

1st Lt. Nathan Perry, a coalition spokesman, would not say what kind of dogs were used in the raid, but said the troops will "use dogs when we need to." Perry did not know if the targeted Taliban subcommander was among those detained and the statement did not specify.

In Islamic tradition, dogs are shunned as unclean and dangerous.

In the southern province of Helmand, meanwhile, a roadside bomb in Gereshk district killed four police and wounded five, said Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, the provincial police chief.

In the province's Marjah district, Taliban militants attacked a high school serving 300 students, burning books and classrooms, Andiwal said.

Elsewhere in the south, a battle between militants and police killed four insurgents, said Juma Gul Himat, the provincial police chief of Uruzgan province. He said one policeman was wounded.