US soldier dies in southern Afghanistan

A US soldier has died after an insurgent attack in the most volatile part.

Kabul: A US soldier in southern Afghanistan has died after an insurgent attack in the most volatile part of the country, NATO said on Saturday.

The attack was on Friday, NATO`s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

A spokesman confirmed separately the dead soldier was American.

The death brings to 327 the number of US military deaths in the war this year, and to 494 the total number of foreign troops to die, according to a report.

The war is nearing the end of its ninth year, with international troops nearing full strength of 150,000 from the United States and NATO.

US President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen are due to meet on Tuesday at the White House to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, the President`s spokesman said on Friday.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates struck a positive note on Friday about the war in Afghanistan after a day meeting with US soldiers in southern Kandahar province, where the insurgency is concentrated.

Ahead of a December strategic review of the war strategy planned by the Obama administration, Gates told reporters: "The question to be addressed in December is whether the strategy is working.”

"Based on what I`ve seen here today I am hopeful that we will be in that position," he said.

Bureau Report

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