- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — All seven of the NATO service members killed in a powerful bomb explosion in southern Afghanistan on Thursday were Americans, a U.S. official said. Separately, a helicopter crash in the country’s east killed an eighth NATO service member, the coalition said.

The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not yet been publicly released.

Afghan officials said two Afghan policemen also were killed in the blast.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing in Shorabak district of Kandahar province near the Pakistan border.

Thursday was the deadliest day for coalition forces in Afghanistan since April 27, when an Afghan military pilot opened fire at the Kabul International Airport and killed eight U.S. troops and an American civilian contractor.

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