February 3rd, 2010
07:32 AM ET

Pakistan blast kills 3 U.S. soldiers

Islamabad, Pakistan - Three American soldiers were among at least seven people killed Wednesday when a roadside bomb struck a convoy on its way to a girls school opening in northwest Pakistan.  The explosion took place in Lower Dir in the North West Frontier Province, which has repeatedly come under militant attack in recent months.

The American soldiers were in Pakistan to help train the country's security forces, said Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, spokesman for the Pakistani military.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad did not immediately comment on the incident.

Some reports placed the blast toll at eight. But Abbas said that, in addition to the Americans, the seven killed included a Pakistani soldier and three students.

The blast wounded 120 others, said Dr. Waqeel Mohammad, administrator of a hospital in the district.

The school was celebrating its reopening Wednesday after militants had destroyed it in an earlier strike.

It was rebuilt by the Pakistani military as part of a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, a government entity that provides economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide.

Muhammad Israr, a correspondent for the Pashto-language TV channel AVT Khyber, said he was among reporters whom the military had invited to cover the opening of the school.

The vehicle carrying the Americans bore the impact of the bomb, which police say was remotely detonated.

"Their car was very conspicuous," he said. "It was an SUV that had an Islamabad license plate.

"It was horrible," Israr added. "We saw the corpses of the foreigners in the wreckage of their car."

The blast damaged six rooms of a nearby school - not the one the convoy was headed to, Zarin said, as had been reported earlier.

Intelligence officials say attacks in the province are retaliation for an army offensive to rout militants from their havens along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

CNN's Kiran Khalid, and journalists Umar Aziz Khan and Nasir Habib contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Troops
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. A. Smith, Oregon

    Training Pakistani troops to fight the Taliban is a oxymoron if there ever is one. If the Pakistan government didn't want the Taliban, there would be no Taliban. And yet we are led to believe American special operations soldiers are training Pakistani troops to fight the Taliban?

    February 4, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Larry

    It just shows they have to watch out for road bombs where ever they go!!! The Enemy will try to kill Our Troops are Anyone else They can kill as long as They have A chance to do it... Until They are completely out of the Country We can not let Our Guard down!!!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |