December 13th, 2010
01:54 PM ET

Several detained after weekend suicide attack

Afghan and coalition forces have detained several people after a weekend suicide attack that killed six Americans, officials said Monday.

The attack took place Sunday in southern Afghanistan and all six NATO service members who were killed were Americans, a U.S. military source said.

In the attack, a suicide bomber driving a minibus attacked a joint NATO and Afghan national army compound, the governor's office in the southern province of Kandahar said.

The vehicle, packed with explosives, detonated next to a small building occupied by troops as part of a newly established combat outpost, according to a U.S. military official. The official declined to be identified because the Army has not yet named the unit or the troops involved, pending notification of relatives.

The blast also killed a child, two Afghan national army soldiers and wounded six other Afghan soldiers, the governor's office said. In addition, seven U.S. Army personnel were wounded in the attack, which also included small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the military official.

When the attack occurred, the building collapsed on the troops, causing the casualties, the military official said. There are unconfirmed military and media reports that Afghan troops at the site were unable to stop the vehicle when it approached, according to the official. The troops had only been on site for several days, and it was unclear what security measures were in place.

Following the attack, Afghan and coalition forces carried out two operations in Kandahar and Helmand provinces Sunday to look for a person connected to the incident, the International Security Assistance Force said.

The force detained several people in the raids. Asked if the targeted person was among those taken into custody, a spokesman for the U.S. military said officials were "still assessing the individuals detained."

The person who was targeted not only coordinates attacks but also acquires and supplies weapons throughout central Kandahar, the security force said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Department has identified two Americans who died Wednesday of wounds suffered when an insurgent attacked their unit with a bomb.

The victims are Sgt. James A. Ayube II, 25, of Salem, Massachusetts; and Spc. Kelly J. Mixon, 23, of Yulee, Florida, the U.S. defense department said.

The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck, Germany.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • NATO • Troops
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