Foreign soldier killed in Afghanistan: NATO
A foreign soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, NATO said, bringing the total number to die in the country so far this year to nine.world Updated: Jan 11, 2010 12:45 IST
A foreign soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, NATO said on Monday, bringing the total number to die in the country so far this year to nine.
In a brief statement, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device, or IED, on Sunday.
"An ISAF service member was killed on Sunday in an IED strike in southern Afghanistan," the ISAF statement said.
It gave no other details, including the nationality of the deceased.
The independent website icasualties.org says that nine international soldiers have died in Afghanistan in 2010, including six Americans.
The United States and NATO partners have 113,000 troops in Afghanistan, fighting alongside Afghan troops to quell a virulent Taliban insurgency expected to become more violent with the arrival of another 40,000 soldiers.
The British Ministry of Defence (MOD) said on Sunday the first British journalist to die covering the war had been killed the day before in an IED strike in southern Helmand province, where the fighting is concentrated.
Rupert Hamer of the Sunday Mirror newspaper was blown up by an IED as he accompanied Marines patrolling near Nawa, the MOD in London said.
Philip Coburn, 43, a photographer for the British tabloid working alongside Hamer, was injured in the explosion and was "in a serious but stable condition", officials said. A US Marine also died in the blast.
IEDs are cheap and easy to produce, mainly using fertiliser and mobile phone switches.
They have become the Taliban's "weapon of choice", according to a senior US military intelligence officer, who said recently that IEDs claim up to 90 percent of foreign troop lives.
More than 500 died last year, compared to 295 in 2008, the icasualties figures show.