Those killed in the southern Zabul province Saturday included three members of the US military, an Afghan doctor and two US civilians, including a US State Department officer, when a suicide bomber detonated a car full of explosives as their convoy passed. Another American civilian was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan, the US military said in a statement. Up to nine Americans and Afghans were injured.

The state department officer who died was Anne Smedinghoff, 25, who was delivering books to students in Zabul province after acting as Secretary of State John Kerry’s guide during his recent visit to Kabul.  She was the first US diplomat killed in service since last year's attacks in the Libyan city of Benghazi

On the same day, US General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Afghanistan for a visit aimed at assessing the level of training that American troops can provide to Afghan security forces after international combat forces complete their withdrawal at the end of 2014.