Afghan attacks kill U.S. diplomat, soldiers, others

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan,  (Reuters) – A car bomb blast killed five Americans, including three U.S. soldiers and a young diplomat, yesterday, while an American civilian died in a separate attack in the east.

The diplomat, whose name was not given, and other Americans were in a convoy of vehicles in Zabul province when the blast occurred, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

The soldiers and the diplomat died in the blast along with a civilian employee of the Defense Department and Afghan civilians, Kerry said. His statement gave no overall death toll.

Local and international officials in the region said earlier that six people died in the blast: three U.S. soldiers, two U.S. civilians and an Afghan doctor.

Provincial governor Mohammad Ashraf Nasery was in the convoy, but was unharmed, local and NATO officials said. “Our American officials and their Afghan colleagues were on their way to donate books to students in a school in Qalat, the province’s capital, when they were struck by this despicable attack,” Kerry said in his statement.

He said he had met the diplomat during a trip to Kabul, and spoke to her parents after her death. Four other U.S. diplomats were wounded, one critically, Kerry said in his statement.

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