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British soldier killed in Afghan war

A British soldier has been killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan as the death toll for US-led forces continues to climb in the country.

The British army says the serviceman lost his life when he was defusing explosive devices in the Nahr-e Saraj district of the restive southern Helmand Province.

Task Force Helmand spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman said the soldier was killed “for the protection of local Helmandis.”

The latest death brings the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since the start of the war to 340.

In another development, Taliban militants said at least four American soldiers were killed in Herat Province.

This year’s foreign troop death toll is approaching 600, making 2010 the deadliest year for NATO forces since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

The total number of US and NATO casualties in the past 20 months are more than the entire death toll in the first seven years of the war.

According to official figures, since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, more than 2,100 NATO forces have been killed.

This is while Afghanistan’s Baakhtar News Agency puts the overall death toll of foreign troops at about 4,500.

Several NATO member states are demanding an immediate draw-down of troops under pressure from public opinion.

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