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German troops remember comrade killed in suicide attack

A memorial service was held in Afghanistan on Saturday for a German soldier who was killed by a suicide bomber. The latest death came during a week in which the NATO-led coalition has come under intense attack.

Soldiers paying respects to the soldier's coffin

The 26-year-old was killed while on patrol with colleagues

German troops in Afghanistan have held a memorial service for a comrade killed in a suicide attack, in an intense week of onslaughts against coalition forces.

Members of the German army stationed in Kunduz took time to remember the 26-year-old staff sergeant from Lower Saxony in a 45-minute service at the army's Hain base on Saturday.

A German patrol in Afghanistan

A total of 44 German troops have been killed in the country

Battalion commander Christian Blumroder expressed "deep sympathy" to friends and family of the man, German military command in Potsdam said.

The paratrooper was killed when a suicide attacker targeted a German military patrol in northern Afghanistan's Baghlan region. The bomber had strapped explosives around his body which he detonated near to the German group.

A further 14 soldiers were injured in a gunfight that broke out after the explosion.

The soldier's body was being flown back to Germany where a service was to be held in his home town of Selsingen on Sunday. A military funeral was due to take place next week.

Italian soldiers killed

At least four Italian soldiers were killed and another was injured in a Taliban ambush on an Italian military convoy on Saturday.

The attack happened in the western province of Farah where a bomb exploded near to the men's armored vehicle, Italian Defense Ministry spokesman General Massimo Fogari told television news. "It was a typical insurgent attack involving a mixture of gunfire and explosives," Fogari said.

A British aid worker who was being held hostage was also reported dead on Saturday, following a rescue effort. Announcing the death, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said a decision had been made to try to free Norgrove "given the danger she was in."

Undated photo of Linda Norgrave

Linda Norgrave had been working with an aid agency

36-year-old Linda Norgrave, who was working for a US aid agency, had been captured along with three Afghans in the eastern province of Kunar on September 26.

Killed by captors

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed Norgrave's death, saying she had been killed by her captors during the rescue attempt. The three Afghan hostages had previously been released.

A total of 2,133 coalition troops have now been killed in violence or military accidents in Afghanistan since the country was invaded in 2001. This figure includes 44 German soldiers.

Taliban gunmen in southwest Pakistan set fire to 29 NATO oil tankers on Saturday, the latest in a series of incidents directed against coalition logistics supporting the Afghan war.

Richard Connor (Reuters/dpa/AP)
Editor: Ben Knight

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