| GEO World|
| Foreign troops deaths rise in Afghanistan|
| Updated at: 1519 PST, Sunday, February 28, 2010|
KABUL: A foreign soldier has been killed fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, NATO said, though the death was not associated with major military operations in the south of the country.
In a brief announcement NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the death was in western Afghanistan on Saturday.
"An ISAF service member died today as a result of small-arms fire in western Afghanistan," it said, adding that the soldier's nationality would not be revealed according to policy.
NATO and the United States have around 121,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan to battle a Taliban-led insurgency, with the number set to rise to 150,000 by August, military officials have said.
US President Barack Obama is deploying an extra 30,000 troops over coming months -- supplemented with 10,000 from NATO -- most for deployment to the volatile southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, where the insurgency is concentrated.
Some 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops are currently in Helmand for the first major operation of a US-led counter-insurgency strategy that marries military clearance of insurgents with civilian control and services.
The latest casualty brings the total death toll of foreign soldiers in Afghanistan so far this year to 101, according to a tally based on that kept by the independent website.
ISAF has said that 14 of those deaths took place during the Helmand operation, dubbed Mushtarak, meaning "together" in the Dari dialect as an indication of the participation of 4,400 Afghan troops.