5 US soldiers killed by bomb in southern Afghanistan

During one of the bloodiest weeks for NATO forces this year in Afghanistan, five US soldiers were killed Saturday when an explosive device struck their vehicle in the Kandahar province.

Five US soldiers were killed by a bomb in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Saturday, a US forces spokesman said, capping off one of the bloodiest weeks for international forces this year.

The attack underscored the dangers faced by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), even as they hand over much of the fighting to the Afghans ahead of a planned departure next year.

Nineteen US personnel have been killed in the last week in three air crashes and Saturday's bombing. Three British soldiers were also killed on Tuesday by a roadside bomb in the southern province of Helmand.

"This afternoon, five ISAF soldiers died when their vehicle struck an ... IED (improvised explosive device) in Maiwand district," the Kandahar government said via its official Twitter feed.

Maiwand borders Helmand province to the west and is considered one of the most volatile of Kandahar's districts.

Last month nine Afghan men working for a mine clearance organisation were taken captive by Taliban fighters there, though they were later released.

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