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NATO Soldier Killed In Eastern Afghanistan

A NATO soldier has been killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Thursday.

The ISAF, however, did not disclose the identity or nationality of the deceased in accordance with its policy of not disclosing details until the home country of the victims does so.

It is now estimated that more than 238 ISAF soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year, mostly in roadside bomb attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Of late, roadside bombings using IEDs have become a hallmark of Taliban strategy against NATO forces, as it avoids direct confrontation with the foreign troops while increasing casualties.

Another major issue facing the international coalition troops is the killing of its personnel by Afghan civilians and militants dressed in police as well as military uniforms. More than 40 ISAF personnel have been killed in 32 such attacks, dubbed by the media as "green-on-blue" attacks, so far this year.

Most of the ISAF casualties have been in Southern Afghanistan, where the foreign coalition is attempting to retain control over the territories captured from Taliban militants over the past two years.

At present, 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 fighting Taliban insurgency in the land-locked country.

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 planned withdrawal of coalition troops by the end of 2014.

However, there are wide concerns about the ability of Afghan security forces to counter the Taliban insurgency without the same level of foreign military assistance and presence.

by RTT Staff Writer

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