Two U.S. forces killed in Afghanistan

Two U.S. troops were killed in separate militant attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

One U.S. soldier died during a "ground assault operation" by Afghan and U.S. forces west of the southern city of Kandahar on Monday, when militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire at their vehicles, the military said in a statement.

Another U.S. soldier was wounded. He was taken to hospital in Kandahar and was listed in stable condition.

The coalition forces returned fire, killing two militants and wounding a third.

In a separate incident, a U.S. base near the eastern city of Asadabad came under mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire on Monday, the statement said. One U.S. Marine was killed in that attack.

The statement said that coalition forces responded with mortar fire and support aircraft, but did not give details of any militant casualties as battle damage assessment was not yet complete.

A total of 197 U.S. service members have died in and around Afghanistan since the U.S.-led campaign to oust the Taliban regime in late 2001. This year has been the deadliest yet for the 21,000-strong U.S.-led coalition force, reports the AP.

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