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Afghan Bombs Kill 7 As Vote Count Resumes - 2004-10-16

In Afghanistan, at least seven people, including two U.S. soldiers, have died in separate incidents. The attacks come as the vote count in Afghanistan's historic presidential election is under way. U.S. military officials said Saturday the soldiers were killed when a landmine explosion hit their vehicle in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened on Thursday. However, Uruzgan is one of the former strongholds of the Taleban, the fundamentalist Islamic movement that was ousted from power by a U.S.-led military alliance in late 2001.

U.S. military spokesman Major Scott Nelson in Kabul on Saturday gave details of the incident.

"What we suspect was a Taleban mine placed in the road destroyed one of our Humvees that was on a security patrol," he said. "Two soldiers were killed and three soldiers were injured."

Afghan officials in the eastern Kunar province are reporting that at least five other people, including three children, were killed when a remote-controlled device exploded near a truck.

Unknown attackers are said to have set the truck on fire to draw a crowed and then detonated the bomb. The truck was carrying supplies to a U.S. military base in the region.

President Hamid Karzai has strongly condemned the attack. In a statement, he blamed "enemies of Islam" for planning such an attack on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The violence comes as the counting resumes after last week's voting in Afghanistan's landmark presidential election. Election officials say results are expected in three weeks. Reports say President Karzai is likely to win comfortably, but he may still face a run-off if he does not capture 50 percent of the vote.