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2 NATO soldiers killed in Afghan explosions

/ Source: The Associated Press

Separate explosions in southern Afghanistan killed two NATO soldiers on Friday, the alliance said in a statement.

NATO did not identify the dead soldiers or the exact place where they were killed.

Gen. Dick Berlijn, the Dutch defense chief said Friday that a Dutch soldier was killed in an explosion in southern Helmand province while on foot patrol as part of Operation Achilles.

NATO launched Operation Achilles last month to flush out militants entrenched in the opium-producing area.

The soldier is the Dutch contingent's first fatality from hostile action since joining the NATO mission last year.

Most Dutch troops in Afghanistan are stationed in neighboring Uruzgan province on a reconstruction mission, but Dutch forces also have taken part in NATO offensives against the Taliban.

Further details were not immediately available.

The corporal was the sixth Dutch soldier killed on Afghan duty since the government sent nearly 2,000 troops to Uruzgan last August. Three died in aviation accidents, one in an armored car crash and another in an apparent suicide.