| GEO World|
| Five US soldiers die fighting Taliban in Afghanistan|
| Updated at: 2240 PST, Saturday, July 10, 2010|
KABUL: Five US soldiers were killed Saturday in separate incidents while battling the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, NATO said.
Three died in eastern Afghanistan and two were killed in the south, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.
A sixth US serviceman also died Saturday, but as the result of an accidental explosion, an ISAF official told a foreign news agency on condition of anonymity.
The six deaths bring to 352 the total number of international soldiers to die in the Afghan war so far this year.
It was the highest one-day toll since the deaths of ten foreign soldiers on June 21, which equalled the worst day of the year for international forces.
An ISAF statement said the causes of death in the east were small-arms fire, a home-made bomb attack and an unspecified "insurgent attack".
The two soldiers who died in the south were involved in separate attacks with homemade bombs, known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
US soldiers are known to be involved in a major operation in Kunar province, on Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan, though ISAF would not confirm that the deaths in the east were related to the offensive.
While it is ISAF policy not to reveal the nationalities of the soldiers, an official who asked not to be identified said all were Americans.
The United States, with almost 100,000 of the 140,000 international troops in Afghanistan, is bearing the greatest burden of a rising death toll, with 224 soldiers killed this year so far, and 1,171 since the war began in 2001.
June saw more than 102 foreign troops deaths, a monthly record since the war began with the 2001 US-led invasion to overthrow the Taliban regime.
IEDs have become the biggest killer, deployed by the Taliban with deadly accuracy as they are mostly remotely-controlled or detonated by pressure when vehicles drive over them -- or men step on them during patrols.
The US government is sending three billion dollars worth of IED detection equipment and specialist personnel in coming weeks, to bolster defences against the cheap and easily-made bombs.
A June UN report marked an "alarming" 94 percent increase in IED incidents in the first four months of this year compared to 2009, as the military says intensifying efforts against the Taliban are being matched by more attacks.