Kabul: A NATO soldier was killed in southern
Afghanistan today, the alliance said, bringing to 229 the
number of foreign soldiers killed in the country this year.
The soldier, a member of the US-led International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF), was killed by small arms
fire, according to a NATO statement, which did not disclose
any further details, in line with the alliance`s policy.
With 520 foreign soldiers killed, most of them Americans,
2009 was the deadliest year for US and NATO forces fighting
the increasingly deadly insurgency waged by the Taliban since
they were overthrown in late 2001.
According to a tally of 229, based on one kept by
the independent icasualties.org website, 2010 will also exact
a heavy toll on the foreign forces fighting to support
President Hamid Karzai`s government.
Around two-thirds of this year`s casualties -- 143,
according to icasualties -- are Americans, who make up the
bulk of the 130,000 foreign troops based in Afghanistan, with
total deployment expected to reach 150,000.