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Insurgent Attack Kills NATO Soldier In Eastern Afghanistan

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan said Monday that one of its service members was killed in an insurgent attack in the east of the war-torn country.

The international coalition force, 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.

Nevertheless, most ISAF troops stationed in eastern Afghanistan are Americans. According to media estimates, some 379 ISAF personnel, including 289 Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, mostly in roadside bomb attacks using IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Notably, most of the recent 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.

Another major issue facing the NATO-led coalition troops is the killing of its personnel by Afghan soldiers themselves and by Afghan civilians and militants dressed in police as well as military uniforms. Such attacks have been dubbed by the media as "green-on-blue" attacks.

On Sunday, one ISAF service personnel was shot dead by a man wearing a local police uniform in Southern Afghanistan. With his death, a total of 56 ISAF personnel have been killed in 37 such "green-on-blue" attacks so far this year.

Currently, there are over 104,900 foreign troops from more than 48 countries in Afghanistan to contain a resurgent Taliban in the land-locked South Asian country. The U.S. remains the single biggest contributor to the coalition force, with 68,000 soldiers on the ground to fight Taliban insurgency alongside their NATO and Afghan partners.

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.

The ISAF has already begun the process of entrusting security responsibilities of several provinces to Afghan forces. 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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