Soldier with US-led force killed in Afghanistan

AFP, May 18, 2008

KABUL (AFP) — A soldier with a US-led military coalition and an Afghan "non-combatant" were killed Sunday when a bomb blew up their vehicle in southern Afghanistan, the force said.

Another soldier was seriously injured in the blast in the southern province of Zabul, the US-led coalition said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the extremist Taliban militia has carried out a series of similar attacks.

"One coalition service member and an Afghan non-combatant were killed and another service member was seriously injured Sunday when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device," the statement said.

The nationality of the soldier was not released but most of the troops serving in the US-led coalition are American nationals. The force also could not immediately release details about the "non-combatant."

The death of the soldier took to 54 the number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year. Most died in hostile action.

Improvised bombs are the Taliban's most effective weapon and account for most casualties among foreign soldiers trying to help the Afghan government put down an extremist insurgency.

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