Afghan attack kills 6 US-led soldiers

A militant attack has claimed the lives of six US-led soldiers in southern Afghanistan, bringing the death toll of foreign soldiers in the war-torn country closer to 700 so far this year.

The western military alliance says the troopers lost their lives in a militant attack in the country’s south.

NATO has not revealed the nationalities of the soldiers or the exact location of the attack.

The deaths bring to at least 692 the number of US-led troops killed in Afghanistan this year– making 2010 the deadliest year for foreign forces since the start of the war nine years ago.

Despite the presence of some 150,000 foreign forces, militant attacks are picking up in Afghanistan.

In a separate development, a fresh round of NATO airstrikes has claimed at least 25 lives in Afghanistan.

NATO claims those killed in the eastern Kunar province were all Taliban militants.

The Afghan government has NOT confirmed the report yet. Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman claims the militants killed at least ten foreign soldiers in Kunar and Helmand provinces.

On Saturday, a US airstrike killed seven employees of a road-construction company in Paktia province.

NATO and the US military claim the attacks are aimed at militants and their hide-outs, but they often result in civilian casualties.

Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes or ground operations in different parts of the war-ravaged country over the past months.

According to official figures, more than 2,500 civilians were killed in NATO operations last year, undermining support for the presence of US-led forces in the country.

A recent UN report shows civilian deaths have jumped by 31 percent in the first half of 2010.

The invasion of Afghanistan was launched with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the country.

Nine years on, however, Afghanistan remains unstable and civilians continue to pay the price.

The loss of civilian lives has dramatically reduced support for the Afghan war.