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Taliban Claims Responsibility for Bombing


Taliban forces claimed responsibility Friday for a suicide bombing that wounded several U.S. soldiers.

The incident took place Thursday at a joint U.S.-Afghan military base in the eastern Paktia province, near the Pakistani border.

A spokesman for the provincial governor, Roullah Samoun, said five soldiers were wounded in the attack. U.S. military officials confirmed several U.S. service members were injured in a blast at a base in the east, but provided no other details.

Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition forces say they are investigating an incident in the Gardez district of Paktia province.

The forces released a statement Friday saying Afghan and international security force members found the "bound and gagged" bodies of two women, along with two dead men, in a compound in the district.

The statement says the bodies were found during a security force operation, late Thursday, that resulted in the deaths of several suspected militants and the detention of eight men.

An earlier statement said joint forces found the bodies of three "bound and gagged women" hidden in a room in the compound.

U.S. and Afghan forces are moving closer to the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in southern Helmand province in preparation for a major offensive.

Commanders hope to regain control of the town -- a major opium trafficking hub for the Taliban - and estimate they could face anywhere from a few hundred up to 1,000 Taliban fighters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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