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Soldier in Afghanistan US-led force killed by mine

Written by: Staff
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KABUL, June 29 (Reuters) One soldier was killed and three wounded when US-led troops on patrol in southern Afghanistan hit a landmine, while 12 Taliban were killed in a separate clash, the US military said.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan this year to its worst level since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 for refusing to give up Osama bin Laden. More than 1,100 people, including nearly 50 foreign troops, have been killed.

The blast in Nawzad district of Helmand province yesterday was believed to have been caused by an old landmine, the US military said.

''A coalition force patrol was conducting security operations in Nawzad when their uparmoured vehicle struck a landmine likely left behind from 25 years of war,'' the US military said in a statement.

It did not give the nationality of the soldier killed or of his three wounded colleagues.

The US-led coalition force numbers 28,000, with 23,000 of them American.

Large parts of the Afghan countryside are strewn with landmines left over from war in the 1980s and 1990s.

In a separate incident yesterday, coalition and Afghan government troops killed 12 Taliban in an attack on a militant hideout in Uruzgan province, to the north of Helmand, the US military said.

REUTERS SY KN1010

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