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Georgian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Georgia’s defense ministry says that a Georgian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, bringing to 11 the number of Georgian troops who have been killed serving with NATO-led forces fighting the Taliban.

According to the AFP news agency, the ministry released a statement on December 31, saying that the soldier was killed in a mine blast in volatile Helmand Province.

The Geoorgian news website named the soldier as Corporal Besik Niniashvili from the 31st light infantry battalion of the third brigade.

Georgia, which wants to join the NATO military alliance, currently has more than 900 troops serving in Afghanistan.

Georgia's parliament voted on December 20 to almost double its troops in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently said Georgia has "progressed significantly" in its NATO membership bid, but said the country still needs to build on democracy.

compiled from agency reports