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Afghanistan

Eight NATO soldiers, one German, killed in Afghanistan attacks

The German military says one of its soldiers was killed and another wounded in an insurgent attack in northern Afghanistan on Saturday. A total of eight NATO soldiers were killed in separate attacks on the same day.

In a statement released on Sunday, the German military, or Bundeswehr, confirmed one of its special forces soldiers was killed during a joint operation with Afghan forces near the northern city of Baghlan. The statement says insurgents opened fire on the Afghan and NATO International Security Assistance Force troops.

"In the subsequent battle damage assessment the Afghan and ISAF forces again came under fire," the Bundeswehr said.

Germany mourns soldier

"A German soldier was killed and a German soldier wounded."

It added that "presumably" several insurgents had been killed but said there was no available information.

Earlier on Saturday, five US soldiers were killed by a Tabliban roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, while two other NATO troops were shot dead by an Afghan army soldier in the west of the country.

Saturday's attacks are the latest against foreign troops since the Taliban began their spring offensive a week ago. However NATO has said that most shootings arise from cultural misunderstandings or personal grudges rather than militant plots.

Last week, three British soldiers were killed when their armored vehicle hit a bomb in the southern province of Helmand.

The international coalition is scheduled to conclude combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

Moment of silence

The Free Democratic Party (FDP), the coalition partner of chancellor Angela Merkel, held a moment of silence during a party meeting in Nuremberg, after FDP chairman and German vice chancellor Philipp Rösler informed the gathering about the death of the Bundeswehr soldier.

jr/hc (AFP, AP, dpa)

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