Three foreign troops killed in Afghanistan


Kabul : Three soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) died and 15 others were injured Thursday in four incidents in Afghanistan.

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Giving details, the ISAF said Friday one of its soldiers died in combat in southern Afghanistan. As in most cases when it reports casualties, the ISAF did not give the nationality of the soldier, but the British defence ministry said one of its troops was killed by small-arms fire while manning a checkpoint near Garmsir in Helmand province.

The checkpoint was attacked by a group of eight to 10 Taliban, the ministry said, and the soldier who was manning a machine gun was shot. He died later at a British military hospital.

The firefight continued at the checkpoint, and the British called in Dutch air support with a 225-kilogram bomb being dropped on the Taliban position, the ministry added.

The ISAF said an Australian soldier received minor injuries in a suicide bombing in the southern province of Uruzgan.

The Australian Defence Department said two Afghans were also wounded and the bomber died in the attack on an Australian vehicle checkpoint just north of a Dutch military base at Tarin Kowt.

“This attack was the first of its kind against the RTF,” Australian Air Chief Marshal Houston said, referring to Australian soldiers involved in reconstruction projects.

“The situational awareness of the RTF patrol, their reaction to the bomber and their personal-protective equipment ultimately prevented a more serious incident,” he added.

In the non-combat ISAF casualties, one soldier was found dead in southern Afghanistan, the ISAF said, without giving details about the death. Another was killed and 14 injured in a landslide in northeastern Afghanistan, the ISAF said.

The landslide occurred in Faizabad, the capital of the relatively peaceful province of Badakhshan.

The ISAF did not release the nationalities of the soldiers.

German soldiers operate in the area of northern Afghanistan where the landslide occurred, but German Commander Alexander von Heimann said no Germans were among the casualties. Czech troops are also stationed in the area.