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Georgian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

A Georgian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, the 16th to die while serving alongside NATO-led forces fighting the Taliban.

A statement from the Georgian Defense Ministry said the soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Helmand Province.

Georgia, whose government has backed the country joining NATO, currently has some 800 soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

The parliament of Georgia -- a country of 4.4 million people -- voted in December to send an extra battalion to Afghanistan, which is expected to almost double the country's contingent there.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier this month that Georgia has become a "model partner" for the alliance but that there is still a "long road" toward Georgian membership in NATO.

With reporting by AFP
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