Soldier killed in Afghanistan

An Army team at Dover Air Force Base, Md., transfers the remains of a U.S. soldier who died in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan. (Steve Ruark / Associated Press / December 19, 2013)

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A NATO service member was killed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday after coming under direct fire by enemy forces, officials said.

A statement from the U.S.-led coalition, known as the International Security Assistance Force, didn’t provide other details or the nationality of the soldier who was killed.

[Updated 8:40 a.m. PST, Dec. 23: Another North Atlantic Treaty Organization service member was killed in a direct-fire attack in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said without providing details.]

Sarhadi Zowak, a spokesman for the governor of eastern Laghman province, confirmed an ongoing military operation by Afghan forces in Alingar district but could not confirm the causality.

"Afghan forces have launched a military operation in Alingar district of Laghman province, but there is no further details about the circumstances of the operation," said Zowak, citing poor phone service in the area.

In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for killing two U.S. soldiers during an attack in the area.

"Early this morning, the American soldiers wanted to attack the Mujahidin. They faced heavy ambushes by the Mujahidin. As a result, two American soldiers were killed," the statement said.

Six U.S. soldiers were killed last Tuesday when their aircraft crashed in southern Zabul province.


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Baktash is a special correspondent.