On Saturday, two NATO soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan when their vehicles struck home-made bombs. The deaths of three US soldiers and one French also killed on Saturday in separate incidents was announced earlier. It brings the military death toll for a single day to six.
There are more than 100,000 international troops in Afghanistan who are trying to stem mounting violence from a Taliban-led insurgency in Helmand Province. The troops have intensified operations in preparation for historic presidential elections set for August 20. Incumbent President Hamid Karzai is seeking re-election in only the second presidential election to be held in Afghanistan. President Karzai’s 8-year rule has been criticised and he faces strong opposition from at least one other candidate. While campaigning on Saturday he said that, if re-elected, he would re-double his efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan through mediation with Taliban leaders.