Six members of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan were killed Monday in three separate encounters, NATO announced.
Three U.S. service members died during a firefight with militants in southern Afghanistan, NATO officials said.
In eastern Afghanistan, two members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force were killed in an engagement with enemy forces. Another soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan, the ISAF reported.
Rod Nordland of the New York Times reports that the violence reinforces “the assessment of military commanders that the once-traditional winter lull in the fighting has been overtaken by a steady escalation of the conflict.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, a British journalist was killed and a second wounded in Afghanistan when the vehicle in which they were traveling struck an improvised explosive device, according to the British Ministry of Defence
Rupert Hamer, defense correspondent for the Sunday Mirror newspaper, and photographer Philip Coburn were embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps and were accompanying a patrol near Nawa in southern Afghanistan when the explosion occurred Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.
In a tape aired Saturday on the Arabic satellite news channel Al-Jazeera, the man believed to be the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees and contractors last month vows revenge for the killing of a Taliban leader.
The video shows Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, whom a former U.S. intelligence official identified as the suicide bomber. Al-Balawi's brother told CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson that the man in the video, who uses the alias Abu Dajana Al-Khorasani, was his sibling.
In the video, al-Balawi says his message is for the CIA and Jordanian intelligence.
In other news reports and perspectives:
- Leon Panetta (Washington Post): “The CIA is proud to be on the front lines against al-Qaeda"
- Adam Mynott (BBC): “Afghans more optimistic for future, survey shows”
–Christopher Drew (New York Times): “Military is awash in data from drones”
- Boris Gromov and Dmitry Rogozin (New York Times): “Russian advice on Afghanistan”
- Brad Knickerbocker (Christian Science Monitor): “Is Al Qaeda’s new terrorist strategy making the U.S. less secure?"
- Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post): “Don’t panic. Fear is al Qaeda’s real goal."