Bomb kills two US soldiers in Afghanistan: NATO

Last Updated: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 19:55

Kabul: A bomb blast killed two American
soldiers serving under NATO in southern Afghanistan, NATO`s
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said today.

The blast, which involved an improvised explosive device,
occurred in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, ISAF said.

"The two service members killed were from the United
States," the statement said without giving further details.

A British soldier also died Thursday in an explosion in
southern Afghanistan, the defence ministry in London said.

Their deaths bring to 463 the number of international
soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, the deadliest of an
eight-year anti-insurgency campaign being fought by about
100,000 NATO and US-led troops.

More than half of this year`s dead have been from the
United States, the biggest troop contributor.

Drugs, defections plaguing Afghan forces: NATO

Berlin: The Afghan army and police forces,
which should one day ensure the security of their country on
their own, are plagued by defections and drug addiction,
according to NATO commanders.

NATO defence ministers, meeting last month in Bratislava,
approved a plan to focus the strategy in Afghanistan on
protecting civilians from Taliban attacks while accelerating
the training of Afghan security forces.

But the picture painted by NATO commanders shows that,
while international troops suffer increasing casualties,
training too is an uphill battle in this country wracked by
more than 30 years of war.

Out of the some 94,000 Afghan soldiers trained so far,
10,000 have defected, General Egon Ramms, commander of the
operational headquarters in charge of the NATO-led
International Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), told
reporters this week.

He also estimated that 15 per cent of the armed forces
are drug addicts.

The 68,000-strong national police, one member of which
shot dead five British soldiers Tuesday, suffer from the same
problems, are prone to corruption, and their training has been
so far less than efficient, he added.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 19:55

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