Seven U.S. soldiers have been killed, one is missing and three others have been injured in an explosion in Afghanistan.
Military officials say the U.S. soldiers were working around a weapons cache near the southern town of Ghazni when the explosion occurred.
No other details were immediately released. Defense officials say the incident is under investigation.
The blast comes as U.S. forces are gearing up for what news reports say will be a major offensive against remnants of the Taleban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
There has been no Pentagon confirmation of the planned operation. But defense officials have voiced recent concern over a resurgence of attacks by al-Qaida and the Taleban.