An explosion struck a NATO patrol vehicle outside a former Taliban town in southern Afghanistan, killing one British soldier and wounding five others, officials said Monday.
The British Ministry of Defense said the soldiers’ vehicle was hit by a mine Sunday northeast of Musa Qala, a town in northern Helmand province that had been held by the Taliban for 10 months until U.S., British and Afghan forces retook it last month.
One soldier died at the scene and the five others were airlifted to NATO bases for medical treatment, the ministry said in a statement. The wounded soldiers were not in a life-threatening condition.
A total of 87 British forces personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001.
Taxi hit roadside bomb
On Saturday, five civilians were killed and three wounded in Kandahar province’s Panjwayi district after their taxi hit a roadside bomb, a local government leader, Shah Baran, said.
Militants attacked a convoy of trucks carrying gravel to a NATO base in Helmand, killing four drivers and two security guards, said Koka, an Afghan who goes by one name and owns the security company that employed the guards.
An Associated Press count based on official figures found that more than 6,500 people — mostly militants — died in insurgency-related violence in 2007, the deadliest year in Afghanistan since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban.
The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, a security company that surveys the security situation in Afghanistan for aid workers and other groups, said in a year-end report that 1,977 civilians were killed in last year’s fighting.