5 soldiers killed in Afghanistan

KABUL: Five international soldiers were killed on Friday in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan the NATO and US-led forces said.

The forces, working together to fight a Taliban-led insurgency, did not give the nationalities of the troops but said one was from the US Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A).

"The four ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) soldiers and one USFOR-A soldier were killed during an incident that included small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade strikes," it said in a statement.

It was one of the deadliest tolls for foreign soldiers in a single incident in Afghanistan in weeks.

The joint statement said Afghan and international troops had returned fire and called in air support.

"The insurgents withdrew and ISAF-Afghan forces are in pursuit," it said, giving no other details, including the location of the attack.

The international forces in Afghanistan do not release the nationalities of their casualties, leaving this to their home nations.

ISAF, led by NATO, is made up of just over 58,000 soldiers from nearly 40 nations, with most of those in the east of the country from the US military.

Before Friday's incident, 91 international soldiers had lost their lives in Afghanistan this year, most of them in attacks, according to a tally by icasualties.org, which tracks the conflicts in this country and in Iraq.