Roadside Bomb Kills 4 Americans
IED use on the rise in Afghanistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 4, 2010 5:40 AM CST
U.S. soldiers walk on a dirt road while on patrol in Afghanistan in this Nov. 18, 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

(Newser) – A roadside bombing killed four US service members, the first American combat deaths of the year in Afghanistan, while a British soldier died during a foot patrol elsewhere in the volatile south of the country, officials said today. The blast that killed the Americans took place yesterday somewhere in the south, according to a NATO statement, but no other details were available. The British soldier died in Helmand province.

Afghan insurgents are increasingly turning to improvised explosive devices in their fight against Afghan and international forces. Of the 304 US military deaths in Afghanistan last year, 129 were due to IEDs or roadside bombs, according to an AP tally. Also today, NATO said a joint Afghan-international force discovered a huge cache of marijuana and turned it over to police for destruction.