Six American soldiers were killed and more than a dozen American and Afghan soldiers were wounded on Sunday morning when a van packed with explosives detonated beside a small joint outpost in southern Afghanistan….The attack occurred in an area that has had a heavy American and Afghan military presence since autumn, when NATO and Afghan forces flowed into Taliban-controlled territory of Kandahar Province in an effort to clear insurgents and bring the area under the Afghan government’s control.
The river valley, a belt of irrigated fields and small villages, is now a network of American and Afghan outposts. Patrols crisscross the region each day, and new positions — like the strong point that was attacked Sunday — are being built.
The pace of fighting has subsided in recent weeks as the weather has cooled and the leaves have fallen off the vegetation, making it more difficult for insurgents to hide.
But the Taliban has continued to plant bombs and dispatch suicide bombers, and American and Afghan soldiers are wounded or killed in the province on most days.
One of the few instances in which the US military, rather than Julian Assange, has been responsible for putting Afghan and US soldiers in danger.