KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Suspected Taliban insurgents attacked coalition service members in Afghanistan on Sunday, killing seven American soldiers in two separate incidents, officials said on Monday morning. It was one of the deadliest days for foreign troops so far this year.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed one of its service members was killed as a result of an insurgent attack in Afghanistan’s south, but provided no other details. A U.S. military official in Washington said the casualty was an American service member.
Hours later, in a separate incident, six Americans were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck an armored vehicle in Wardak province, located in Afghanistan’s east. The U.S. official confirmed the casualties were American soldiers but declined to provide other details, pending notification of next of kin.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Also on Sunday, the U.S. Department of Defense released the name of a U.S. soldier who died as a result of a non-battle related injury in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on Friday. The department identified the casualty as 46-year-old Captain Bruce A. MacFarlane, of Oviedo, Florida. He was assigned to the 1186th Transportation Company, 831st Transportation Battalion in Jacksonville, Florida.
The latest attacks came as international leaders have agreed to pledge $ 16 billion for Afghanistan’s economic development in the coming four years. The Tokyo Framework of Mutual Accountability was agreed to in the Japanese capital of Tokyo among representatives of more than 70 foreign governments.
The deaths on Sunday raise the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year to 234, according to official figures. A total of 566 ISAF troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2011, down from 711 in 2010. A majority of the fallen troops were American and were killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians.
There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.