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Insurgents kill coalition service member in southern Afghanistan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- Insurgents attacked coalition service members in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing one of them, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. It raises the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year to 275.

ISAF said one of its service members was killed as a result of an insurgent attack in Afghanistan's south, which is one of the most volatile regions in the war-torn country. But because the multinational force defers the release of specific details to national authorities, no other details about the incident were immediately available, including the exact location.

The nationality of the service member involved was also not immediately disclosed by ISAF, again per its policy. "It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities," ISAF said in a brief statement, giving no specific details. The alliance does also not report injuries.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Defense Force on Monday identified two Kiwi soldiers who were killed by suspected Taliban insurgents in central Afghanistan on Saturday morning. They were identified as 26-year-old Lance Corporal Rory Patrick Malone and 26-year-old Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer.

The two Kiwi soldiers were killed near a village south of Do Abe, located in Bamyan Province, when they arrived to assist Afghan security forces who had come under attack. Two Afghan security personnel were also killed and eighteen others were injured, including six Kiwi soldiers, eleven Afghan security personnel and one civilian.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack.

The death on Monday raises the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year to 275, according to official figures. A total of 566 ISAF troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2011, down from 711 in 2010. A majority of the fallen troops were American and were killed in the country's south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians.

There are currently more than 129,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

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