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NATO Soldier Killed In Southern Afghanistan

A NATO soldier has been killed in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan's south, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement posted on its website late on Sunday.

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

Notably, the incident was reported hours after a group of Taliban suicide-bombers attacked a major U.S. military base in the eastern city of Jalalabad earlier in the day. All the nine attackers as well as three Afghan soldiers and a civilian were killed in the ensuing battle. But there were no NATO casualties in the incident.

According to media estimates, at least 387 ISAF personnel have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, with U.S. soldiers topping the list with 297. Notably, 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.

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.

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 Taliban insurgency without the same level of foreign military assistance and presence.

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