A service-member of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has died of a non-battle related injury in the south of the war-torn Asian country, the ISAF said in a statement on Wednesday.
The ISAF statement, however, did not disclose the identity or nationality of the deceased, citing the coalition force's policy of entrusting the identification procedures to the respective countries.
Earlier on Wednesday, at least five ISAF personnel were injured after an individual an Afghan National Police uniform opened fire on them in Wardak province. The incident reportedly happened at a NATO base east of Kabul.
The injured troops are currently receiving medical treatment, but the extent of their injuries is not clear. Although the ISAF did not disclose the nationalities of the injured soldiers, they are believed to be Americans.
It was the latest in a series of such incidents of civilians or militants, disguised as Afghan security personnel, as well as Afghan soldiers themselves targeting ISAF personnel. It is estimated that at least 26 ISAF personnel have been killed in some 19 such incidents, labeled by the media as "green-on-blue" attack.
It came just days after three British soldiers were shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan National Police uniform in southern Afghanistan on Sunday. That incident occurred as the targeted British soldiers were leaving a checkpoint in Helmand province.
Currently, there are over 130,000 foreign troops from more than 42 countries under the joint command of the NATO and the United States in Afghanistan to contain a resurgent Taliban in the war-torn country.
Nevertheless, anti-western sentiments have been high in Afghanistan in recent years, mainly due to civilian deaths in military operations carried out the foreign troops. They increased drastically after the burning of copies of the Holy Koran at a U.S. airbase in February as well as the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier in March.
A NATO summit in Chicago earlier this year had decided on a new NATO-led mission that will focus on training, advising and assisting Afghan forces after they have assume the full security responsibility of the country by the end of 2014.
The U.S. and other allied nations involved in the Afghan mission are currently making serious efforts to get the Afghan security forces ready and capable of handling the country's security before the coalition troops' pullout by the end of 2014.
by RTT Staff Writer
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