The Taliban-linked militancy and violent incidents claimed the lives of nine soldiers from the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a single day on Saturday, turning the day into the bloodiest one since January this year for the alliance stationed in the conflict-ridden country, ISAF statements confirmed.
According to the military alliance fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, the deadly one happened in the restive southern region where Taliban militants are more active than in other areas.
"Five International Security Assistance Force service members died following an Improvised Explosive Device attack in southern Afghanistan Saturday," ISAF confirmed in a statement released here Sunday.
However, it did not identify the nationalities of the victims and the exact place of the incident, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.
In talks with Xinhua, spokesman of Kandahar provincial administration Jawed Faisal said, "The soldiers were on patrol in Maiwand district this afternoon when a roadside bomb struck a military vehicle killing five service members on the spot."
However, a local official, on the condition of anonymity, said the deadly blast took place in Sarkari Kariz area of Maiwand district at 01:00 p.m. local time Saturday and all the victims are Americans.
The NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force in separate statements released on Saturday and Sunday have also confirmed loss of four more service members in isolated incidents elsewhere in the country.
"Two International Security Assistance Force service members were killed when an Afghan National Army soldier turned his weapon against ISAF service members in western Afghanistan Saturday," ISAF said in a statement released Sunday morning, saying the incident is currently under investigation.
Moreover, two more foreign soldiers were killed in two separate insurgent attacks in the relatively peaceful northern region of Afghanistan, ISAF confirmed in its statements.
Taliban-linked activities have increased since the launching of the so-called spring offensive codenamed "Khalid Bin Waleed" in April 28.
Since January this year, according to icasualties, a website tracking U.S.-led coalition's fatalities in the war on terror, 50 service members with the NATO-led ISAF -- 41 of them Americans -- have been killed in Afghanistan.