KABUL, Afghanistan,AP-A bomb exploded next to a U.S. military convoy in eastern Afghanistan, killing two American soldiers and wounding a third, the military said Saturday.
An Afghan interpreter was also wounded in the attack on Friday in Urgun district in Paktika province, the military said. The wounded were evacuated by helicopter to a U.S. base for treatment.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of these two brave individuals who gave their lives so that Afghanistan might have a safe and secure future," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James G. Champion, deputy operational commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76.
The names of the dead were withheld pending notification of their family.
The deaths brought to 147 the number of U.S. troops killed in and around Afghanistan since their mission began in 2001.
In a separate statement, the U.S. military said Afghan army forces on Friday captured a suspected bomb maker and former Taliban member in the west of the country.
After a winter lull, loyalists to the ousted Taliban regime and other militants opposed to the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai have ramped up their insurgency.
Three suspected rebels died in fighting on Friday. One was killed and another wounded when they failed to stop their motorbike at a security checkpoint in Kandahar province, said local government official Niaz Mohammed.
The other two were killed in an hour-long firefight in neighboring Zabul province, said another official, Rahmatullah Khan.