NATO soldier, four insurgents killed in Afghanistan
A NATO soldier was killed by insurgent fire in eastern Afghanistan while four militants were killed in an operation by US-led coalition forces a southern region, officials said Wednesday.
The soldier of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed on Wednesday by "enemy fire," ISAF said in a statement.
The statement did not disclose the nationality of the soldier, nor the precise location of the incident, but most of the international forces stationed in the eastern provinces are US troops, reported dpa.
"Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the family and friends of the brave soldier who was killed during this tragic event on Christmas Eve," ISAF spokesman Captain Mark Windsor said.
Elswhere, US-led coalition forces on Tuesday killed four insurgents in an operation in Shinkai district of the southern province Zabul, the US military headquarters in Bagram said in a statement.
The operation targeted a Taliban sub-commander, who was believed to be commanding more than 30 fighters in the region, the statement said, adding that the militants were responsible for coordinating and conducting roadside bomb and direct attacks in the region.
"During the operation, coalition forces received PKM machine gun fire from multiple militants barricaded inside the building. Unable to neutralize the threat, the force engaged the militants with hand grenades, killing four," it said.
Despite the onset of winter, Taliban-led insurgents have continued to mount their attacks on Afghan and some 70,000 international troops stationed in the country.
Afghan and NATO military officials said the rebels appeared prepared to keep up the pressure during the harsh winter months.
The US recently announced plans to send up to 30,000 additional forces to the country by mid-2009. More than 3,000 new troops would be deployed in January.