7 Nato troops killed in Afghan blast

Seven soldiers from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, the military said.

"Seven International Security Assistance Force service members died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today," ISAF said in a statement.

It did not say which country they were from, which area they were killed in or give further details of the incident, in line with policy.

At least 198 foreign troops have now been killed in Afghanistan this year, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by the independent website iCasualties.org.

There are around 130,000 ISAF troops in the war-torn country, around 90,000 of whom are from the United States.

The south is the area where much of Afghanistan's worst fighting takes place, particularly in the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand.

The Taliban announced the start of their spring fighting season at the end of April.

While international forces insist they have been taking the fight to insurgents throughout the winter, the coming months will provide a key test of their ability to hold ground in the south taken from the Taliban last year following a troop surge.

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