Georgian soldier killed in Afghanistan convoy attack: coalition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Georgian soldier from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission was killed and six personnel were wounded in Afghanistan on Thursday after a suicide bomber attacked their convoy in Kabul province, a coalition statement said.

In addition, two Afghan civilians were killed and seven wounded in the attack.

The wounded service personnel, three Georgians, two Americans and a local interpreter, were being treated at a U.S. military hospital at Bagram airfield and were in stable condition, the statement said.

The incident occurred in Qarabagh district outside the capital, Kabul.

The coalition maintains nearly 13,000 troops from 39 countries, as part of a mission to train, advise and assist Afghan troops. Georgia is not a member of NATO, but has 870 troops serving in Afghanistan, one of the largest contingents in the coalition.

“The commitment of Georgia as our largest non-NATO contributor is vital to our mission and we are honored to stand beside them under these difficult circumstances,” said the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson.

A suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan killed two American troops on Wednesday as they traveled in a convoy near the airport in southern Kandahar city, the U.S. military said, in a strike claimed by the Taliban insurgency.

The attack was seen as a reminder of the dangers posed to the 8,400 U.S. service members in Afghanistan as President Donald Trump weighs sending thousands more troops to fight America’s longest war.

U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have asked for several thousand additional troops, but the request is stalled in Washington, where Trump has expressed skepticism over extending the American commitment.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and James Mackenzie; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Clarence Fernandez