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One British, Four Afghan Soldiers Killed in Southern Afghanistan

08 March 2007

A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province during the largest offensive to date against Taleban fighters.

Britain's Defense Ministry says the soldier, a member of the Royal Artillery, died in the hospital after being wounded in a grenade attack Thursday.

In other violence in Helmand Thursday, armed men opened fire on a police vehicle, killing four men inside.

In neighboring Kandahar province, two suicide attacks wounded five Afghan civilians.

And, in northern Sari Pul province, gunmen killed a German aid worker, but his three Afghan colleagues were unharmed.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. State Department official says the United States is pressing its NATO allies to fulfill their mission in Afghanistan.

Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said some NATO members are falling behind on their commitments because of restrictions on their troops to engage only in non-combat activities.

He said overall, NATO is doing well but could do better.

Some Democrats expressed skepticism about progress made in Afghanistan, saying the United States diverted attention from that country to Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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