Afghan officials: Bomber kills 14 including 3 US troops

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Afghan soldier stands guard in Gushta district of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghan soldier stands guard in Gushta district of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Officials in Afghanistan say three U.S. troops and their Afghan translator are among at least 14 people killed by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle today. They say the bomber rammed his bike into a joint Afghan-American patrol.

NATO is confirming only that three service members and their translator died. It isn’t confirming the nationalities of the dead. The Taliban are claiming responsibility for the attack. It came a day after the U.S. death toll in the war in Afghanistan reached 2,000 troops.

The joint patrols like the one that was the target of today’s attack are considered crucial to the training of Afghanistan’s security forces. But they have been cut back after a string of insider shootings of international troops by their Afghan allies.

A provincial government spokesman says the bomber struck a group of Afghan police and U.S. troops shortly after they got out of their vehicles to walk through a market area. In addition to the Americans and their translator, the spokesman says six civilians and four police officers were killed in the blast.

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