NATO soldier killed in Afghan blast as annual death toll nears 700
KABUL (BNO NEWS) — A coalition service member was killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, raising the annual death toll for international troops to nearly 700.
ISAF said the service member was killed as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the country’s south, but provided no other information about the attack.
The nationality of the service members was also not immediately disclosed. “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,” an ISAF statement said.
Coalition casualties in Afghanistan have been rising sharply this year, with around 90 fatalities in July alone, making it the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the war began on October 7, 2001 in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
The council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) eventually declared that the attacks of 9/11, which killed nearly 3,000 people from scores of countries, was considered an attack on all NATO nations. The NATO-backed war in Afghanistan aims to defeat the Taliban and other insurgent groups in the country.
So far this year, a total of 693 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most of them were American and died in Afghanistan’s war-torn southern region. In 2009, the total death toll stood at 521.
Last Sunday, six American troops were killed as a result of an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan. It was one of the deadliest attacks this year, but quickly followed an attack last month when an Afghan Border Policeman opened fire at American troops in Nangarhar province. A total of six Americans, plus the gunman, were killed.