Six American soldiers have been killed in separate attacks in southern Afghanistan, making July the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the nine-year war.
NATO says one service member died in an insurgent attack Friday, while a roadside bombing killed two others. Three other troops were killed Thursday in two separate bombings in the south.
The casualties bring the number of U.S. soldiers killed this month to 66, surpassing June's record as the deadliest month for American troops since 2001. U.S. and NATO commanders have warned of an increase in violence as international and Afghan forces work to clear the south of Taliban insurgents.
In Kabul, anti-American protests erupted Friday after a traffic accident involving a U.S. embassy vehicle killed four Afghan civilians on the main airport road. Police fired shots into the air to try and disperse angry demonstrators who threw stones and set two embassy vehicles on fire.
In the southern city of Kandahar, police say a motorcycle bomb targeting a parliamentary candidate killed a woman and child on Friday. The candidate was not harmed.
In neighboring Zabul province, Afghan officials say four civilians were killed and three others wounded when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb. Officials say Taliban fighters opened fire when police responded to the scene. One militant was killed in the resulting clash.
Elsewhere, British and Afghan troops launched a new offensive Friday in the Sayedebad area of Helmand province to deny insurgents a base from which to launch attacks in the Nad Ali and Marjah areas. Coalition forces have worked to strengthen security in Marjah following an offensive there earlier this year.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.