Two troops die in Afghanistan on first day of 2011

Two foreign soldiers were killed Saturday in Afghanistan, coalition forces said, in the year's first deaths among NATO-led foreign forces after the war's highest-ever annual death toll in 2010.

"An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today," the NATO-led ISAF said in a statement, without giving further information in line with policy.

Later, it issued a second statement saying that another service member had died "following an insurgent attack". That death also came in volatile southern Afghanistan, the heart of the conflict where Taliban insurgents are strongest.

In 2010, a total of 711 international troops were killed in Afghanistan, according to independent website iCasualties -- the highest annual death toll since the war began in 2001.

A limited, conditions-based withdrawal of international troops is expected to start in July this year ahead of a transfer of responsibility for security to Afghan forces in 2014.

There are around 140,000 international troops fighting the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, around two-thirds of them from the United States.

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