Three German soldiers were killed and up to eight seriously wounded during a series of violent attacks in northern Afghanistan. The Bundeswehr confirmed that three troops were killed in Char Dara district of Kunduz province, which has grown increasingly violent in recent months. Local officials said that between three and eight troops were seriously hurt during an ambush close to Isakhil village, south west of Kunduz city. German officials confirmed that several soldiers were injured. During the ambush one of the German trucks was hit by an [improvised explosive device], said Ghullam Mahiuddin, Char Daras district police chief. The tank was completely destroyed and because we couldnt bring it back the Germans ordered us to burn it. Afghans routinely refer to armoured fighting vehicles and personnel carriers as tanks. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Mohammed Omar, the provincial governor, said that the troops were on a mission to resupply a nearby base when they stopped to clear the road of home-made mines. "Along the road they found some roadside bombs planted by the Taliban. They were removing the bombs from the road when the Taliban attacked them. A fight erupted during which a Taliban commander, called Mullah Habib, was killed," he said. At least two insurgents were seriously hurt in the fight, which lasted several hours. Local officials and eyewitnesses said that scores of insurgents had been lying in wait to launch their attack. The ambush, close to a newly built outpost on a hilltop outside Isakhil, came just hours after an earlier skirmish. In the morning, around 11 oclock, the Germans came down from the hill to patrol in the bazaar in Isakhil, said local elder Haji Khairullah. The Taliban ambushed them and there was a small fight. Then at 2pm they ambushed them again. The deaths bring to 39 the number of German soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001. The Afghan mission remains widely unpopular in Germany, despite the presence of 4,500 troops, the third-largest Nato contribution after the US and Britain. Berlin has repeatedly resisted Natos requests to redeploy its soldiers to more volatile parts of the country. The deaths are likely to further dent support in Germany, a day after President Hamid Karzai lashed out at his international backers, accusing the international community of blurring the line between Afghanistans saviours and invaders, and warning that the insurgents could be seen as legitimate resistance fighters. In case the co-operation shifts to meddling, the legitimate government shifts to puppet government, the insurgency will change to a national resistance," he said. Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said that President Karzai's harsh words were genuinely troubling and that the Administration was seeking clarification of what he meant.