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Large insurgent force attack U.S. troops

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 14 (UPI) -- A weekend attack on a military outpost in which nine U.S. soldiers died involved hundreds of insurgent fighters, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said at least 100 of the 400-500 militants who hit the base in Dara-I-Pech in Kunar province Sunday were killed, CNN reported Monday. However, a U.S. official told the U.S. network an estimated 200 insurgents took part with an unconfirmed number killed.

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Four Afghan national army soldiers also died and another 15 U.S. troops were wounded, CNN said.

The rebels used homes, businesses and a mosque for cover, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said.

"It is quite common for them to attack our outposts," said NATO spokesman Mark Laity. "But this was a larger scale attack than normal. This was not a new tactic. They usually get defeated. We are very, very sad that we lost some people but again, their attempt to take that base failed."

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