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NATO: 3 Georgian troops killed in Afghanistan attack

May. 13, 2013 - 03:20PM   |  
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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — A truck bombing Monday killed three coalition service members in southern Afghanistan, NATO said in a statement. A local official said the attack targeted a base operated by troops from Georgia.

Omer Zawak, spokesman for the governor of the southern Helmand province, said the truck bomb exploded at the entrance to the Georgian outpost in the Musa Qala district of the province, one of the most volatile regions of Afghanistan.

The deaths brought the number of troops from the former Soviet republic of Georgia killed in Afghanistan to 22. Georgia has about 1,600 troops in Afghanistan, the largest non-NATO contingent there. Georgian soldiers are under NATO’s command.

Also in southern Afghanistan Monday, a roadside bomb ripped through a bus, killing 10 civilians, most of them women and children, officials said.

Kandahar province’s police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq said the blast wounded another 12 people in Maroof district, roughly 60 kilometers (36 miles) northeast of Kandahar city.

Insurgents plant landmines and roadside bombs in the south and the east of the country to target Afghan and international troops, but civilians often are killed or injured as a result.

A Taliban spokesman said Monday that the four remaining Turkish nationals among a group of 11 people abducted last month by the militant group would be released soon.

An email statement from Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed said the earlier release of another four Turks was intended as a “goodwill gesture” and the remaining four Turks still in their possession would also be freed shortly.

He did not make any reference to the Afghan translator and two pilots — one from Russia and one from Kyrgyzstan — who were captured along with the eight Turks when bad weather forced their helicopter to make an emergency landing in of eastern Afghanistan’s Logar province, a Taliban stronghold, on April 21.

On Sunday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said the freed Turks were taken to the Turkish Embassy in Kabul.

Associated Press writer Mir Wais Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.

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