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NATO says 3 US troops killed in Afghanistan

A man injured by a bomb blast in Lashkargah was loaded onto a vehicle on Tuesday.

Sher Khan/EPA

A man injured by a bomb blast in Lashkargah was loaded onto a vehicle on Tuesday.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A roadside bomb struck a US convoy in southern Afghanistan Tuesday, killing three American troops, while a ­motorcycle bomb in a crowded village market killed at least three Afghan civilians, officials said.

NATO spokesman Colonel Thomas Collins said the blast hit the American convoy in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province, the spiritual heartland of the Taliban and one of the most volatile regions in ­Afghanistan.

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Collins originally said four US troops were killed in the blast, but Captain Luca Carniel later said NATO had revised the death toll to three US service members.

The attack follows a truck bombing a day earlier on a NATO outpost in Helmand Province that killed three Georgian soldiers. So far this year, 58 international service troops have been killed in Afghanistan, according to an Associated Press count. Of that tally, 44 are US service members.

Earlier Tuesday, a bomb hidden in a parked motorcycle ripped through a packed market in the village of Safar in ­Helmand, according to Omer Zawak, the spokesman for the provincial governor. Three ­people were killed and seven were wounded in the blast, he said.

Four children were among the wounded, two critically, ­police spokesman Shah Mahmood Hashna said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban released the last four of eight Turks taken hostage last month.

In an e-mail statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah ­Mujahed said the group freed the four Tuesday afternoon as a ‘‘good-will’’ gesture to fellow Muslims. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, confirmed their release.

The eight Turks, along with an Afghan translator and two pilots, were captured after bad weather forced their helicopter to make an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan on April 21.

The Taliban released the first four Turks of the group on Sunday.

Mujahed did not make any reference to the fate of the ­Afghan translator and two ­pilots — one from Russia and one from Kyrgyzstan.

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