German soldier killed, six injured in Afghanistan

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A suicide attack killed one German soldier and wounded six others in northern Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said.

Two of those wounded are in a serious condition, the German defence ministry said. The blast occurred at 1:50 pm (0920 GMT) in Baghlan province.

Stephan Wessel, a spokesman for German troops based in northern Afghanistan said the blast occurred in Puli Khumri, the capital of Baghlan.

"I can confirm one German soldier has been killed and six others have been wounded," the spokesman said.

"It was a suicide attack," Wessel added, refusing to give further details.

Germany is the third largest contributor of foreign troops to the US-led NATO force fighting a nine-year Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

According to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) website, Germany has around 4,590 soldiers in Afghanistan.

Thursday's death brought to 44 the number of German troops killed in the Afghan war and to 564 the total number of foreign soldier who have lost their lives in the conflict so far this year, according to an AFP tally.

There are more than 150,000 international troops based in Afghanistan and 2010 is already the deadliest year of the conflict since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime.

The German troops are based in the relatively peaceful north of the country, although there has been an increase in violence in recent years and polls show that a majority of people oppose the mission.

Berlin wants to begin bringing its soldiers home in 2011, an aim shared by Washington, but has not fixed a date for withdrawal.

© 2010 AFP

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