News / Asia

Georgia's Defense Minister Visits Afghanistan After Deadly Incident

Afghanistan, Helmand provinceAfghanistan, Helmand province
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Afghanistan, Helmand province
Afghanistan, Helmand province
VOA News
Georgia's defense minister visited Afghanistan on Friday, a day after a suicide truck bombing killed seven Georgian soldiers in southern Afghanistan.

Irakli Alasania cut short a trip to Brussels to meet with his Afghan counterpart, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, to discuss the attack.  Mohammadi thanked Georgia for the sacrifices it has made as part of the international force fighting in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack Thursday outside a base in Helmand province.

Officials say the blast brings the death toll of Georgian soldiers serving with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to 30.  Last month, three Georgian soldiers died in an attack at another Helmand base.  

Georgia has more than 1,500 soldiers serving in Afghanistan, making it the largest non-NATO combat troop contributor in that country.

International forces are seeking to hand control of security to Afghan forces by withdrawing their combat troops by the end of 2014.

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