Three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan blast

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Three US soldiers with the Nato-led force in Afghanistan have been killed by a roadside bomb, officials say.

A government spokesman in the southern province of Kandahar said the soldiers were in a convoy in Zhari district. Several others were reported wounded.

Taliban insurgents announced the start of their spring offensive in March.

This is the latest of a series of attacks this month on international troops, who are due to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Some 100,000 soldiers are still serving with the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in the country.

Hostages freed

"We can confirm that three soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan today (Tuesday)," Isaf spokesman Maj Bryan Purtell was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

The spokesman added that the earlier death toll of four had been revised down and a recovery operation was taking place at the scene.

The coalition and local Afghan officials confirmed that all the victims were Americans.

On Monday, three Georgian soldiers serving with the Nato-led Isaf force died in an attack in the neighbouring province of Helmand.

On 1 May, three British soldiers died in a roadside bomb blast. Three days later, seven Isaf soldiers were killed in separate attacks.

In another development, the Taliban is reported to have freed the last four of eight Turkish civilians who were seized in April.

The Turks were in a group of 11 people captured in eastern Logar province when their helicopter was forced to land in bad weather.

The fate of two pilots, from Russia and Kyrgyzstan, and an Afghan translator remains unclear.

On Monday, Reuters quoted the Taliban as saying that the three captives were still alive.

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