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NATO Soldier Killed in Southern Afghanistan


NATO says one of its soldiers has been killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan.

The alliance did not release details of Saturday's bombing or the nationality of the soldier.

Elsewhere in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military says Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops killed 20 insurgents in ground fighting and air strikes in Helmand province.

A military statement says the clashes erupted Friday when the joint patrol was ambushed in the Kajaki district. It says the insurgents were killed after troops returned fire and called for air support.

The statement says insurgents in the Kajaki district are known to be heavily involved in bomb-making, weapons smuggling, drug activity and attacks on troops.


In a separate operation on Friday, the U.S. military says Afghan troops (,with the help of U.S. coalition forces,) captured a Taliban commander responsible for facilitating suicide bombings and roadside bombs in the Lagharah Valley of Khost Province, south of Kabul.

Southern Afghanistan is the center of a growing Taliban-led insurgency, fueled in part by the illicit opium trade from poppy harvests in Helmand.

The Obama administration has announced a revised strategy to fight militants in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. The new plan includes sending thousands of additional troops, as well as more money to train Afghan police and develop tribal areas.
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