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Georgian Defense Chief Visits Afghanistan After Deadly Bombing

Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania has arrived in Afghanistan a day after seven Georgian soldiers died in a truck bombing at their base.

Alasania cut short an official trip to Brussels to visit soldiers wounded in the June 6 suicide attack in Helmand Province.

The Defense Ministry says the dead soldiers were members of the same unit and had been in Afghanistan since April.

On June 7, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing on their Voice of Jihad website.

It was the deadliest attack on Georgian forces in Afghanistan and brings the total number of Georgian military personnel killed in Afghanistan to 29.

Georgia has the largest non-NATO contingent in Afghanistan, with nearly 1,600 troops.

Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi expressed his condolences and thanks to Alasania during their meeting on June 7.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP,,, and RFE/RL's Georgian Service