A militant attack in Afghanistan has killed three soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan interpreter.
The coalition says the four died in a powerful blast in Wardak province Thursday.
June has been an especially deadly month for soldiers battling Taliban militants. At least seven foreign forces and two Afghan soldiers were killed in the past four days alone.
The coalition says several Taliban insurgents were killed Thursday in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Zabul. Twenty-two others were killed Wednesday in Paktika province
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says a 40 percent rise in attacks by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan this year is a matter of real concern. He says one reason for the increase is that more fighters have been able to cross the border without facing sufficient pressure from Pakistani troops.
On Tuesday, the commander of U.S. and coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, Major General Jeffrey Schloesser, said insurgent attacks have increased 40 percent since January.
Separately, Afghanistan has fired the Kandahar police chief for negligence related to a massive jailbreak earlier this month. The Interior Ministry said Thursday the deputy police chief and the criminal investigation director also were fired for the incident.
More than a thousand prisoners, including about 400 Taliban militants, escaped Kandahar's main prison after a suicide bomber blew open the gates.
Canada's government announced Thursday it will give $4 million to rebuild the prison. Half the funding will be used for urgent repairs resulting from the attack. The remaining money will be used to upgrade the facility.