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5 Americans die in bloody day in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: 19 insurgents killed in U.S. air assault
  • Five U.S. service members are killed in Afghanistan
  • Three Afghan supreme court employees are killed in an attack
  • The deaths come a day after seven NATO troops died

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Insurgents and security forces in Afghanistan have cranked up their fight in recent days, with militants ambushing coalition and government targets and an air assault pounding enemy fighters, coalition authorities said on Tuesday.

Five American service members were killed Tuesday in Afghanistan -- four of them in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force said.

Track U.S. and coalition casualties in Afghanistan

The NATO-led force did not release additional details about the roadside attack or where it took place.

A fifth U.S. service member died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan, ISAF said.

In addition, three Afghan supreme court personnel were killed and 12 were wounded in a terrorist attack in the Mosahi district in Kabul province on Tuesday, Afghanistan's Ministry of the Interior said in a written statement.

Two unknown armed terrorists on a motorbike attacked the court employees' minibus, the ministry said.

The attacks came a day after seven NATO troops were killed in two incidents in southern Afghanistan, the military said.

One of the dead was identified as Sgt. Herdis Sikka, 20, of Estonia. He was on routine patrol in Helmand province Monday when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He died a few hours later, the military said. Sikka was the eighth Estonian soldier killed in Afghanistan, said Peeter Kuimet, press officer for the Estonian Defense Ministry.

Authorities released details about two incidents on Monday:

A district sub-governor was killed and four of his bodyguards were wounded when a car bomb blew up outside the governor's palace in the Jalalabad district of Nangarhar province.

And, Afghan security forces and U.S. soldiers launched an air assault in eastern Afghanistan, killing 19 insurgents and capturing five, the military said. Two U.S. soldiers and two of the detained insurgents were wounded.

The assault took place in the village of Omar in the Monogai District of Kunar province. Troops discovered insurgent fighting positions, weapons caches, and ammunition stockpiles, the military said.

CNN's Matiullah Mati in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Mila Sanina in Atlanta, Georgia, contributed to this report.