Blast kills 2 NATO troops in southern Afghanistan

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bomb killed two NATO troops in southern Afghanistan, the international force said Saturday, adding to a violent summer as coalition forces step up patrols in the Taliban-dominated south.

The NATO-led force did not give details of Friday’s explosion. It said one of the troops killed was American and did not release the nationality of the other.

Roadside bombs planted by insurgents are one of the leading killers of both international troops and civilians in Afghanistan.

To counter the threat, the U.S. is sending $3 billion worth of detection equipment and bomb-resistant vehicles to Afghanistan, the Defense Department said earlier this month. The equipment includes tethered surveillance blimps to give troops a bird’s eye view of certain areas, plus unmanned surveillance planes and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles.

Last month was the deadliest of the nearly 9-year-old war for international troops, with 103 killed. So far in July, 50 international troops have died, 38 of them American.