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UK soldier dies of Afghan blast injuries

A British soldier has died two weeks after sustaining injuries in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, raising concerns over the increasing number of militant attacks against US-led troops in the country.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement on Saturday, confirming the death of a soldier from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, which is part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj North, Associated Press reported.

“The soldier died in RCDM Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, on 26 June 2010 as a result of injuries sustained during an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj North District of Helmand Province on the afternoon of 10 June 2010,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, five foreign soldiers died in separate bomb attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan, bringing to 90 the number of US-led soldiers killed in the country in the deadly month of June.

Earlier in the week, US President Barack Obama dismissed his top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, after he caused fierce controversy with his scathing criticism of certain administration officials in an interview with the Rolling Stone magazine.

McChrystal was later replaced by the head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus.

The Taliban, however, responded to the replacement by vowing to continue their fight against foreign troops in Afghanistan, regardless of “whether it’s McChrystal or Petraeus.”

While June marks the deadliest month for US-led troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion of the country, opposition against the prolonged Afghan war continues to grow among NATO member states.

Nine years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the 130,000-strong foreign presence in Afghanistan has so far failed to bring security and stability to any more than three percent of Afghan towns, Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry has announced.

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