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Militants kill NATO soldier in Afghanistan: Alliance

world Updated: Jun 19, 2010 12:27 IST

Militants have killed a NATO soldier in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Saturday, as the death toll for foreign troops in the country mounted.

The latest death takes to 274 the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, according to an AFP tally based on figures kept by the independent icasualties.org website.

"An ISAF service member died following an insurgent attack" on Friday, NATO said in a statement, referring to its International Security Assistance Force.

ISAF had announced on Friday the deaths of four other NATO soldiers in Afghanistan's south.

Two died in a militant attack while the other two, including a Briton, died in separate blasts from roadside bombs, the Taliban's weapon of choice.

Last year, 520 NATO troops were killed in Afghanistan in what was then the deadliest year for foreign forces since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime.

The rising death toll is unwelcome news for Washington and its allies, whose electorates are increasingly frustrated by casualties in a seemingly endless and far away war.

The Pentagon said this week US-led forces were making headway against the Taliban, but it was "overshadowed" by violence in southern provinces and what it called an overly gloomy portrayal of the war shaped by media coverage.

US President Barack Obama has ordered a surge of troops into the country that will see numbers peak at 150,000 this year, before an intended drawdown in 2011.