Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A serviceman with the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) force has lost his life in a non-combat related incident in the troubled eastern part of Afghanistan.

"A NATO service member died as a result of a non-combat injury in eastern Afghanistan," a Press TV correspondent cited a brief press release by the security mission on Wednesday as saying. 

The alliance did not announce the name or nationality of the victim.

The latest death brings to 47 the number of fatalities among foreign troops in war-ravaged Afghanistan so far this year.

Last year, nonetheless, with a death toll of 711, remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties. The number eclipsed the previous record of 521 in 2009. 

Meanwhile, New Zealand Defense Force officials announced on Wednesday that a soldier had been killed the previous day in a road crash while on patrol in northeastern Afghanistan.

Private Kirifi Mila was killed and three others were injured on Tuesday when their vehicle veered off the road and plunged into a 30-meter (100-foot) gorge in Bamiyan province.

Earlier that day, a Finnish soldier was killed and another injured when a roadside bomb targeted their patrol car near the town of Aybak in Samangan Province.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, and alleged that four US-led soldiers lost their lives in the incident, which comes as as violence in Afghanistan has spiked to record highs since the 2001 invasion.

Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming more and more outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.

Afghan Interior Minister Zemarai Bashary said in a recent report that 2010 was the deadliest year for the civilians in the war-torn country since 2001. 

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