KABUL -- A bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed six NATO service members Sunday, a day when 29 people died in roadside bombings and insurgent attacks.

NATO said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device, but did not identify the dead service members. It said NATO's policy is to allow "national authorities" to give details about the soldiers.

A surge in Afghan and coalition forces in the past two years routed Taliban fighters from many of their strongholds in the south, but the insurgents have stepped up attacks this summer to take back key areas.

In addition to the NATO deaths, bombs and attacks killed 16 civilians, five policemen and two members of the U.S.-led coalition in the south, Afghan and NATO authorities said.

The civilians, including women and children, were killed in three blasts in Arghistan district, along the border with Pakistan. Kandahar province spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal said a bomb exploded when a minivan ran over it in the morning. A second went off when civilians riding a tractor arrived to help the wounded. In a third explosion about two hours later, a civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb in another area of the district, killing two women.

At least 10 civilians were injured in the three blasts.

According to the UN, last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed. The number of civilians killed dropped 36 percent in the first four months of this year, compared with last year, but the UN says too many are still being caught up in violence.

The policemen were killed while responding to a gun battle against insurgents at a checkpoint in the Musa Qala district of neighboring Helmand province. Daoud Ahmadi, the spokesman in Helmand, said Taliban fighters attacked the checkpoint about 3 a.m. Police called for reinforcements, but on the way, a police vehicle hit a roadside bomb, killing the five policemen.

Separately, two NATO service members were killed in the south, one in a roadside bomb explosion on Saturday, the other during an insurgent attack yesterday.

In Tokyo, meanwhile, international donors offered $16 billion in development aid for Afghanistan to show there will not be a mass exodus from the country after most foreign troops pull out in two years.

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