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Attacks in Afghanistan kill 3 U.S. soldiers

KABUL — A suicide bomber struck a U.S. convoy in southern Afghanistan on Friday, killing two American soldiers, and military officials announced the deaths of two other international troopers — one American and one Briton — the day before.

The deadly start to the month followed a drop in U.S. and NATO deaths in September over the previous two months — perhaps because no major offensives were launched as the U.S. takes stock of its strategy in the troubled eight-year war. The Obama administration is debating whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan.

President Obama summoned his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, for a 25-minute meeting aboard Air Force One on Friday in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of his review of a war strategy that has divided the president's national security team.

The two conferred just before the president returned to Washington from Copenhagen, where he made a pitch to the International Olympic Committee on behalf of Chicago's unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 games.

U.S. spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias confirmed the deaths in Friday's convoy attack but would not specify where they occurred. Afghan police reported a suicide attack west of Kandahar but were uncertain if there were U.S. casualties.

Mathias also said a third American died late Thursday after militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a patrol in eastern Afghanistan. Several other Americans were wounded, she added.

In London, the British Ministry of Defense announced that a British airman was killed Thursday when a bomb exploded alongside his patrol near Camp Bastion in southern Helmand province, one of the flashpoints of recent fighting.

The four deaths were the first reported this month for the U.S.-led international force, which has been locked in the heaviest combat of the Afghan war.

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