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30 May 2004 -- The U.S. military says four of its soldiers were killed in action in southern Afghanistan yesterday.

In a brief statement, the U.S. military said the four, who were assigned to a special forces unit, were killed in the southern province of Zabul, scene of regular militant attacks in recent months.

A spokeswoman said there were no more details available.

More than 700 people have died in violence since August 2003, most of it blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters who have declared a "jihad," or holy war, against foreign and Afghan troops as well as aid organizations.

Also yesterday, local officials said seven Afghan soldiers and four Taliban militants were killed in clashes in the southern province of Helmand.

(Reuters/AP)
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