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NATO Soldier Dies Of Non-Combat Injuries In Afghanistan
197 days ago
(RTTNews) - A NATO soldier has died of a non-battle related injury in the south of Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Wednesday.
It did not identify the deceased in accordance with its policy of not releasing details until the home country of the victims does so.
According to media estimates, some 369 ISAF personnel, including 266 Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, mostly in roadside bomb attacks using IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
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.
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.
Earlier this week, two British soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles were shot dead by a man wearing a local police uniform in Nahr-e Saraj area of the southern Helmand province on Tuesday. With their deaths, a total of 55 ISAF personnel have been killed in 36 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.
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