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Romanian Soldier Killed In Afghan Car-Bomb Attack


NATO soldiers keep watch near the wreckage of their vehicle at the site of a Taliban suicide attack in Kandahar on September 15.

The Romanian Defense Ministry says one of its soldiers with the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan has been killed and two others injured after they were attacked by a vehicle packed with explosives.

The soldiers were on a patrol in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar region on September 15 when the vehicle crashed into their convoy, the ministry said in a statement.

NATO's Resolute Support mission said in a separate statement that a "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device" targeted a patrol of its troops in Kandahar on September 15, wounding a "small number" of its personnel.

But the statement made no mention of fatalities and did not indicate the nationalities of the injured. It said that additional information would be disclosed as appropriate.

Local officials, however, said the injured soldiers were from Romania, which has been a NATO member since 2004 and is contributing more than 620 troops to the alliance's mission in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Resolute Support mission, Lieutenant Damien Horvath, told RFE/RL by telephone on September 15 that the coalition could not immediately provide further details about casualties sustained in the incident.

But he said there was only one attack on a coalition patrol in the Kandahar region on September 15.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that seven foreign soldiers were killed. The militant group frequently makes exaggerated claims about its battlefield gains.

The Taliban was driven from power in Afghanistan by a U.S.-led invasion following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States -- carried out by Al-Qaeda, whose leaders were sheltered by the Taliban.

But the government in Kabul is struggling to stamp out insurgents following the departure of most NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014.

"The security situation in Afghanistan remains unstable, with most incidents occurring in the eastern and southern provinces," the Romanian Defense Ministry said in its September 15 statement.

"NATO forces securing the military bases and major centers of the country remain permanent targets for possible attacks by insurgents," it added.

The Romanian Defense Ministry and the NATO-led coalition said that the inured soldiers were being treated at a Kandahar military hospital.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and VOA
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