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NATO soldier killed in Afghanistan: alliance

world Updated: May 23, 2009 10:31 IST
AFP
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A soldier in a NATO-led force deployed to help Afghanistan fight a Taliban insurgency was killed in an attack in the volatile south, the alliance said on Saturday.

"An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldier was killed as a result of a direct fire attack in southern Afghanistan on Friday," it said in a statement that gave no further details.

Most of the soldiers in the south are American, British or Canadian.

Southern Afghanistan sees the most fighting between security forces and Taliban and other insurgents and is also the hub of Afghanistan's opium and heroin production, which helps finance the rebels.

The area is the focus of a surge of 17,000 US soldiers pledged by US President Barack Obama in the hope of turning the tide of an insurgency that has picked up steadily since the Taliban regime was removed in 2001.

Friday's death takes to 107 the number of international soldiers to lose their lives in Afghanistan this year, most of them in attacks, according to a toll maintained by the icasualties.org website.

The previous fatality was a 25-year-old US woman killed in a bomb strike north of Kabul on Wednesday.

An ISAF plane made an emergency landing in the southern province of Uruzgan on Friday because of mechanical problems but the force has not said if there were any casualties from the incident.

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