A bloody day and night for American forces in southern Afghanistan has left eight U.S. troops dead, as Taliban militants step up their attacks in the face of an ongoing American-led offensive to capture the militants’ hometown.
Three U.S. troops and five civilians were killed Tuesday night in an attack on police headquarters in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, according to officials with the international military coalition.
An Afghan official said a police officer also died in the attack.
A statement from the international force said a car bomb slammed into the entrance of the compound. Insurgents then opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
International forces and police kept the attackers from entering the compound and eventually fought them off, but three international troops died along with five civilian workers.
An official with the International Assistance Force-Afghanistan (ISAF) confirmed to CBS News’ Fazul Rahim that all three of the foreign troops killed in the attack were American.
Wednesday morning, ISAF confirmed to CBS that four American troops were killed in another IED attack, and one died in small-arms fire. Further details on the most recent deaths were not immediately available. Both incidents occurred in southern Afghanistan.
There is a large and growing U.S. troop presence in Kandahar as an American-led offensive to retake the area from Taliban militants ramps up.
Kandahar is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban. The insurgents have intensified attacks on government targets as Afghan and international reinforcements move in.
Officials tell CBS News there appear to have been two subsequent attacks on the police base; the initial blast and gun battle on the compound, followed by an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on a vehicle convoy nearby.
The ISAF official told CBS three of the civilians killed in Tuesday night’s violence were translators working for the international military coalition. The two others were Afghan workers.
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