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Suicide Bomber Kills Three Czech NATO Troops In Afghanistan


FILE: Afghan villagers stand at the site of an attack in Parwan Province in July.

A suicide bombing in Afghanistan has killed three Czech members of NATO's Resolute Support force.

In a Twitter post, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis hailed the three soldiers killed early on August 5 as "heroes" and sent his condolences to their families.

Taliban militants claimed they carried out the attack, which took place near the Bagram military base in Parwan Province north of the capital Kabul.

The U.S. military said in a statement that the soldiers were targeted by a suicide bomber while on a routine foot patrol alongside Afghan forces.

A U.S. soldier and two Afghan troops were also wounded in the blast, the statement added.

The Czech government has recently approved a plan to deploy 390 troops in Afghanistan through 2020, up from the current 230, as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said in a statement, "Their sacrifice will endure in both our hearts and history and further strengthen our resolve."

NATO formally concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but thousands of troops are still providing support and training to the Afghan National Army, and carrying out counterterrorism missions.

Eastern Afghanistan remains one of the deadliest areas for the U.S. military since its main combat operation against the Taliban ended in 2014.

Last month a U.S. soldier was killed and two others wounded in an "apparent insider attack" in southern Afghanistan, NATO said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of mourners have buried the victims of a twin suicide attack on a Shi'ite mosque in eastern Afghanistan, as the death toll rose to 35, officials said.

Two suicide bombers dressed as women struck a Shi'ite mosque in Gardez, capital of Paktia Province, on August 3 as it was crowded with worshippers for weekly prayers.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa

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