2 US troops die in Afghan bomb attacks
KABUL — A bomb attack killed two US service members in southern Afghanistan yesterday, and Afghan officials said at least 18 militants died in a recent operation in the same region.
A US spokesman, Colonel Wayne Shanks, confirmed that the dead were Americans but declined to provide further details until family members were notified.
Thousands of US, NATO, and Afghan forces have poured into southern Afghanistan in recent months to try to rout Taliban from areas long ruled more by the militants than by the government of President Hamid Karzai.
US Marines and Afghan troops mounted a massive operation in the southern town of Marjah this spring and troops are increasing pressure in Kandahar — birthplace of the former Taliban regime.
With Karzai in Washington as part of a four-day US visit, President Obama was holding closed-door meetings on Afghanistan and is due to meet with the Afghan leader today. He has greatly expanded the US military presence in Afghanistan since taking office, but plans to start drawing down troops in July 2011.