Five US, British soldiers killed in Afghanistan (Lead)June 10th, 2010 - 12:34 am ICT by IANS
Kabul, June 9 (DPA) Taliban militants shot down a NATO helicopter Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, killing four US soldiers, while a British soldier died in an explosion in the same region, officials said.
Meanwhile, Afghan and NATO forces killed 11 Taliban insurgents, including foreign fighters and suicide bombers, in the southeastern province of Paktika, a government spokesman said Wednesday.
The NATO helicopter came down in Sangin district of Helmand province, said Daoud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor.
NATO confirmed four soldiers serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed.
“Four ISAF service members were killed after their helicopter was brought down by hostile fire,” a NATO statement said, but did not reveal the nationalities of the deceased troopers.
US military spokesman in Kabul, Colonel Joseph Todd Breasseale, confirmed to DPA that the soldiers killed in the crash were Americans.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousif Ahmadi said Taliban fighters shot down the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade near Sangin’s main market.
“Twenty foreign soldiers were killed in this attack,” Ahmadi claimed, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Wednesday’s deaths took the US military’s death toll so far in June to 18.
Separately, one more ISAF soldier was killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the same southern region on Wednesday, the alliance said in a separate statement.
NATO did not disclose the nationality of the dead soldier, but in London the defence ministry said in a statement that one of its soldiers was killed in a blast in Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province.
Troops from the US, Britain and Denmark are stationed in Helmand province, where the insurgents are most active.
Wednesday’s deaths took to 249 the overall number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year, according to ICasualties.org, an independent website that tracks military casualties.
In another security incident, Afghan special forces, backed by NATO troops, killed 11 Taliban militants including would-be suicide bombers in the southeastern province of Paktika on Tuesday night, Mukhles Afghan, spokesman for the provincial governor, said.
The operation was conducted in Paktika’s Surobi district after the combined forces received information on the presence of the militants inside an old fort, Afghan said.
Several Pakistani and Arab fighters were among those killed, he said, adding there were no causalities among the joint forces.
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Tags: british soldier, dead soldier, defence ministry, foreign fighters, government spokesman, hostile fire, international security assistance, isaf, military spokesman, nahr, nato forces, provincial governor, roadside bomb explosion, rocket propelled grenade, saraj, soldiers killed in afghanistan, southern afghanistan, suicide bombers, taliban fighters, undisclosed location