KABUL, Afghanistan — Georgia said Wednesday that the country has closed two of its bases in Afghanistan after 10 of its soldiers were killed by militant attacks within the last four weeks, but it will not reduce the number of troops serving there.

The announcement by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania came five days after he visited Afghanistan to meet with his country's contingent in the U.S-led coalition in the aftermath of the attacks. A massive truck bomb killed seven Georgians at their base in Helmand province's Now-e-Zad district on June 6, while three other Georgian soldiers died May 13 in a bomb attack on another base in Helmand's Musa Qala district.

The bombings were part of a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks, pushing violence to some of the highest levels of the 12-year war as Afghan forces take over most security responsibility from international troops set to withdraw next year.

Alasania said on television station Rustavi-2 that Georgia will maintain its current level of troops in Afghanistan but did not say where they would work from. Georgia, a former Soviet republic with aspirations of joining NATO, has 1,545 troops serving in Afghanistan.

"It's a contribution made by Georgia to the international mission that is fighting terrorism and ensuring global security," he said.

He did not say where the closed bases specifically were, and it wasn't immediately clear how many bases Georgia maintains in Afghanistan.

Violence continues to escalate this month in Afghanistan, with the Taliban and other insurgents targeting NATO troops, government forces, politicians and civilians. On Tuesday, 17 people died in Kabul when a Taliban car bomber hit buses carrying employees of the Supreme Court, the deadliest attack in the capital in a year and a half.

Wednesday morning, a motorcycle bomb killed an Afghan soldier and civilian in the south of the country, officials said.

The blast was near a market in Helmand province's heavily contested Sangin district, local police chief Ghulam Ali said. Three soldiers, one local police officer and 11 civilians were wounded.

Helmand government spokesman Omar Zwak said the explosives in a parked motorcycle were remotely detonated as an army and police patrol passed by.

In eastern Afghanistan, militants attacked a NATO convoy carrying supplies on Tuesday night, killing two Afghan police officers and two truck drivers, provincial deputy police chief Asadullah Insafi said.

Three insurgents were also killed in the attack in the eastern province of Ghazni, Insafi said.


Associated Press writer Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili in Tbilisi contributed to this report.

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  • August 2002

    Explosives packed in a pressure cooker shake a shopping mall in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal. Shops are damaged but there are no casualties. <em>Caption: Nepalese pedestrians walk through a shopping mall in Kathmandu on January 26, 2011. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • December 2004

    Ten accused Islamic militants are convicted for their roles in a plot to blow up a Christmas market in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on New Year's Eve 2000. Authorities say the group had planned to blow up containers packed with explosives, a technique they allegedly learned in Afghan camps. <em>Caption: People walk around a giant Christmas tree on November 24, 2012 in Strasbourg, eastern France on the opening day of the city's Christmas market, the largest and one of the eldest French Christmas markets. (PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • March 2006

    A series of bombings kill 20 people in India. One bomb – at a temple in the northern city of Varanasi where five people died – was placed in a pressure cooker and detonated by a timing device. <em>Caption: Indian shopkeepers from Varanasi Traders Association hold candles during an All Religion Peace march for those killed in the bomb blast in Varanasi, 09 March 2006. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • March 2010

    Suspected militants attack the U.S.-based Christian aid group World Vision in northwestern Pakistan, killing six Pakistani employees. Officials say the attackers remotely detonated a pressure cooker bomb. <em>Caption: People examine the damaged office of World Vision, an international humanitarian group, after an attack by suspected militants in Ogi, a small town in the Pakistani district of Mansehra, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Naveed Sultan)</em>

  • May 2010

    One of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, according to a joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence report issued in July 2010. <em>Caption: In this image taken from video, a police officer approaches the vehicle containing a car bomb, which stands with the door open and the police officer reaches down to lift one of the red canisters on the roadway at New York's Times Square, NY, U.S.A., Sunday, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/APTV)</em>

  • May 2012

    U.S. jurors hear that explosives experts had found a pressure cooker containing smokeless gunpowder and other material in the Texas motel room of a soldier accused of planning to blow up Fort Hood military troops and other personnel. <em>Caption: Naser Jason Abdo, riding in a Waco Police vehicle and wearing a facial mask, is taken from the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Waco, Texas Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. He was convicted of planning a massive attack on a restaurant full of Fort Hood soldiers as part of a religious mission. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune-Herald, Duane A. Laverty)</em>

  • October 2012

    French police find bomb-making materials in an underground parking lot near Paris as part of a probe into an attack on a kosher grocery. The discovery includes bags of potassium nitrate, sulfur, headlight bulbs and a container used as a make-shift pressure cooker. <em>Caption: A gendarme secures the entrance of a lock-up garage, possibly used by people arrested during an anti-terror operation conducted four days ago, on October 10, 2012 in Torcy, east of Paris. (MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/GettyImages)</em>

  • February 2013

    A bomb hidden in a pressure cooker explodes inside a restaurant in northern Afghanistan, killing five people. <em>Caption: An Afghan intelligence officer, center, tries to turn on a vehicle used by an insurgent, who was killed by security forces, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)</em>

  • April 2013

    Twin explosions rock the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least three and injuring more than 175 people. <em>Caption: Bill Iffrig, 78, lies on the ground as police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Iffrig, of Lake Stevens, Wash., was running his third Boston Marathon and near the finish line when he was knocked down by one of two bomb blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)</em>