Bomb kills two US soldiers in Afghanistan: NATO
Last Updated: Friday, November 06, 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 06, 2009, 19:55

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