updated 3/27/2008 5:55:41 AM ET 2008-03-27T09:55:41

Insurgents attacked a NATO patrol in southern Afghanistan, killing one soldier and wounding another, the alliance said Thursday.

A statement said the NATO soldiers were patrolling when they were hit in a "direct fire attack" Wednesday in volatile Helmand province. The nationalities of the victims have not been released. Most troops in Helmand are British, though U.S. forces and others also operate there.

Also in Helmand, militants fired a rocket at opium poppy eradication police Wednesday, killing two policemen and wounding another, said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal.

Helmand is the biggest opium-producing region in the world, and has also been the front line of the deadliest fighting in recent years between international security forces and insurgents.

More than 8,000 people were killed in the insurgency last year, the deadliest year since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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