Bombing kills 4 coalition members in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – Four coalition members were killed Tuesday in southern Afghanistan when their vehicle hit an improvised bomb, the U.S. military said.

The incident happened just after midday while the coalition members were on patrol with the Afghan National Security Forces, the U.S. military said. An Afghan civilian working with the coalition was also killed.

The names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Also Tuesday, Afghan National Army soldiers, assisted by coalition forces, killed 16 militants while on a combat reconnaissance patrol in Helmand province, the U.S. military announced.

The troops were on patrol when their convoy came under fire from numerous positions, the military said. The troops responded with small-arms fire, but the militants then began firing mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, so the troops used precision strikes to kill the militants, the military said.

After the incident, the troops cleared a compound from which the militants had been firing and found materials to make improvised bombs, the military said.

“This engagement was yet another blow to the militants, who are quickly losing their ability to operate in Helmand province,” said Col. Greg Julian, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

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