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Bodies of 4 American Aid Workers Headed Home from Afghanistan


The bodies of four American aid workers killed in northern Afghanistan are headed to the United States.

Ten members of an International Assistance Mission medical team, eight foreigners and two Afghans, were shot and killed in Badakhshan province last week.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan, Caitlin Hayden, said Wednesday that the remains of four of the slain U.S. citizens have begun the journey home to their families. The bodies of two other Americans will be buried in Afghanistan, in accordance with their families' wishes.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing the killings, which have been condemned by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Elsewhere, NATO says an insurgent attack Wednesday killed one of its service members in southern Afghanistan.

In the country's east, the alliance says Taliban insurgents fired rocket propelled-grenades in Kunar province Wednesday, damaging a mosque near Asadabad.

Police say two suicide bombers died Wednesday when their explosives prematurely detonated inside a mosque in the capital of western Farah province.

The incidents come on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, extended Ramadan wishes to Afghans in a statement Wednesday.

In a separate NATO release, Petraeus also praised the Afghan defense ministry for reaching its goal of 134,000 trained Afghan soldiers two months ahead of schedule. He said increasing the size and capability of Afghan forces is key to increasing security in areas challenged by the insurgency.

NATO reported Wednesday that a joint Afghan and international force killed a senior Taliban commander (Maulvi Ghulam Haideri) and at least 15 other insurgents in eastern Nangarhar province on August 4.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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