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Six Canadian NATO Soldiers Killed in Southern Afghanistan

Canadian officials have confirmed that the six NATO soldiers killed and two others wounded by a blast Sunday in Afghanistan were all Canadian.

Military officials said they suspect the blast near the southern city of Kandahar was caused by a roadside bomb. The incident is among the deadliest single attacks against NATO forces in the Afghan conflict.

Earlier Sunday, NATO officials said a separate bomb blast in southern Afghanistan killed one NATO soldier and wounded two others. It did not identify the nationality of the soldiers.

Meanwhile, a purported Taleban spokesman said the group has killed an Afghan translator who had been kidnapped along with an Italian journalist.

The spokesman says the Taleban beheaded Ajmal Naqshbandi Sunday in Helmand Province, because the Afghan government refused to negotiate the release of two Taleban prisoners. The death has not been independently verified.

On Friday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said there will be no more prisoner swaps with the Taleban.

Taleban militants seized Naqshbandi and Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo of La Repubblica newspaper in early March and later beheaded their driver. The Italian was freed March 19 in exchange for five Taleban prisoners.

The U.N.'s special representative to Afghanistan has condemned the reported killing.

The Taleban claims to have abducted two French aid workers and three Afghan co-workers who disappeared last week, but it has not issued demands yet.

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