The NATO military announced on Saturday the deaths of two soldiers in an explosion in southern Afghanistan.

The soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed by a roadside bomb on Friday, the alliance said in a statement.

The statement did not reveal the nationalities of the troops, nor say where in the region the incident took place. Most of the soldiers stationed in the southern provinces are from Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.

The latest deaths took to 18 the number of foreign soldiers killed in January. A total of 520 NATO troops were killed in the conflict in 2009, the deadliest year for international forces since 2001.

The district chief for Bak in the south-eastern province of Khost was injured when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb on Saturday, a separate ISAF statement said.

“Initial reports indicate he sustained minor injuries,” the statement said.

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