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Nine NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Taliban spokesman says attack that killed two was by a female suicide bomber
  • ISAF calls it an IED attack and says four other soldiers were wounded
  • Another ISAF service member was killed in small-arms attack
  • Six other ISAF members died Monday -- four in copter crash, two in bombings

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Nine members of NATO-led forces were killed Monday in several attacks in Afghanistan, officials said.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated Monday in eastern Afghanistan, NATO-led forces said.

Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, said two other U.S. soldiers and two Afghan soldiers were wounded in the attack.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, told CNN that the explosion described by the ISAF as an IED attack in eastern Afghanistan was actually a female suicide bomber who detonated her vest at 4:45 p.m. in a crowd of military personnel who were helping at a clinic in Kunar province, in the Shaltan village of the Segal district.

He said 10 foreigners and two Afghan soldiers were killed, and seven foreigners and seven Afghans were wounded.

Mujahid said one of the bomber's male relatives was a fighter who had been killed by foreign forces. ISAF said it could not confirm the report but was investigating.

Another ISAF service member died in southern Afghanistan after a small-arms attack Monday, Sholtis said.

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Military officials said six other ISAF members died Monday -- four in a helicopter crash and two in unrelated roadside bombings. The helicopter crash occurred in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

The dead included three Australian service members, according to Australian defense force chief Marshal Houston. He said 10 Australians were among the 15 people on board the coalition helicopter taking part in military operations.

"This was not the result of enemy action," Houston said.

An ISAF soldier from another country also was killed, Australian Minister for Defense John Faulkner said.

Australia lost two soldiers in a roadside bombing earlier this month. Sixteen Australians have died during operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

No further information was provided on the two ISAF service members who military officials said died in separate incidents involving improvised explosive devices in southern Afghanistan.

The United Kingdom announced a grim milestone Monday -- its 300th fatality in Afghanistan -- with the death of a Royal Marine from wounds suffered this month, the Ministry of Defense announced.

The Marine died in a Birmingham, England, hospital on Sunday after being wounded in an explosion in Helmand province June 12, the ministry said.

At least 1,112 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 campaign against the Taliban began, according to CNN records.

The beheaded body of the leader of Sayed Abad district in Maidan Wardak province was found Monday in Awtar village, six days after he was kidnapped as he was traveling to his office, a spokesman for the province said. The insurgents had demanded 4 million afghanis in exchange for his release, the spokesman said.

CNN's Atia Abawi contributed to this story from Kabul.