updated 4/27/2005 3:57:58 AM ET 2005-04-27T07:57:58

A U.S. soldier was killed when insurgents opened fire on his unit during a patrol in central Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday.

The soldier was evacuated for emergency medical treatment to a U.S. base following the attack Tuesday in Deh Rahwood, 280 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul. He was pronounced dead by doctors at the base.

The soldier’s body was sent to a U.S. air base in the southern city of Kandahar for transportation back to the United States, the military said in a statement.

The soldier’s name was not released. No other Afghan or American soldiers were injured in the ambush, the military said.

The military said a memorial service was held for the soldier at the Kandahar airfield on Wednesday morning.

The death brings to 140 the number of American troops killed in and around Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001.

Increase in fighting
Fighting between coalition forces and the Taliban rebels has increased in recent weeks, perhaps due to improving weather, belying claims by American military leaders who claim the insurgency is fading.

Dozens of rebels have been killed in recent clashes across the south and east, but they have also inflicted casualties.

A Romanian soldier died and two others were wounded in a roadside bombing on Sunday near Kandahar, prompting the coalition country to suspend patrolling in Afghanistan. Romania has about 500 peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan.

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