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Bomb kills three NATO troops in Afghanistan

world Updated: Dec 28, 2011 15:21 IST
AFP
NATO troops

A roadside bomb attack killed three NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan, one of the deadliest flashpoints in the 10-year war against Taliban insurgents, the military said on Wednesday.

NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not release the nationalities of the troops or give further details of the incident, which happened yesterday.

The deaths take to 561 the number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on figures from independent website iCasualties.org.

A total of 711 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan last year, the highest annual total since the US-led invasion in 2001 ousted the Taliban from power.

There are about 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban-led insurgency, with 91,000 of them from the United States.

Much of the worst fighting takes place in the east of the country, close to the border with Pakistan, where US and Afghan officials say the Taliban use rear bases to regroup and plot attacks.

Pakistan closed its supply routes to NATO after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 close to the mountainous, porous border.

Amid declining support for the war and a gloomy economy in the West, all foreign combat troops are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, by which time Afghan forces and officials are supposed to take full control.

Yesterday, President Hamid Karzai called on NATO to disband an irregular security force operating in northern provinces, saying it had been set up "unilaterally" without coordination with the Afghan government.

NATO said today that all such security programmes are being disbanded or shifted to Afghan government control.