It was the deadliest day for NATO service members since May 26, when a total of nine U.S. troops were killed in three incidents.

A roadside bomb killed four NATO service members on Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, the coalition said.

It was the deadliest day for NATO service members since May 26, when a total of nine U.S. troops were killed in three incidents. That day, six were killed in a roadside bombing in Kandahar province, two died in another roadside bomb blast in the same province and one died of injuries from a helicopter crash in Paktika.

Earlier, the coalition said two service members were killed on Friday in separate insurgent attacks in southern Afghanistan, where fighting has picked up since the Taliban launched a spring offensive against Afghan and international troops last month.

There have been reports of heavy fighting in southwest Helmand province between U.S. forces and insurgents trying to regain territories they lost in the fall and winter following a surge of 30,000 mostly American troops.

The Taliban have made it one of their goals to try and once again take control of the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, which are both the wellspring of their movement and the main source of their funding, mostly from the cultivation and sale of opium.

The coalition did not disclose further details of the deaths, or the troops’ nationalities, from any of the attacks.

More than 200 NATO troops have died so far this year in Afghanistan.

In Kandahar city, a bomb hidden in a motorcycle killed two students and wounded another when it detonated on Saturday outside Kandahar University in southern Afghanistan.

University vice-president Hazrat Mir Totakhail said another bomb detonated in the same place as police rushed to the scene a few minutes later. It was unclear if anyone was injured in that attack.

In another incident in Kandahar city, the director of the provincial justice department, Haqel Shah, was shot by gunmen as he was driving to his office. Deputy provincial police chief Sher Shah Yussoufzai said the official was wounded and hospitalized.

Police were also investigating the death on Friday of an Italian citizen in north-eastern Panjsher province.

Panjsher provincial police chief Gen. Mohammad Qasim Janghalbagh said a group of three people, an Italian man, an American woman and an Afghan—American were involved in an altercation on a narrow street in a village in Khenj district.

He said a teenager brushed up against the woman and the incident led to an argument. According to Gen. Janghalbagh, the Italian allegedly fired his pistol and wounded the youth, aged 18 or 19. He said villagers then fired their own weapons and killed the Italian.

He could not provide further details but said the teenage boy was hospitalized. Italian officials in Afghanistan could not be reached for comment.

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