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Two NATO troops die in Afghanistan

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  • NEW: British Royal Marine killed by enemy fire, Defense Ministry says
  • Second soldier, nationality not released, died in eastern Afghanistan
  • Both were part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British Royal Marine was killed during combat on Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, the British Defense Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

The fatality occurred in Helmand province, where British troops are operating under NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The Marine "died from enemy fire in the Nad-e-Ali district near Lashkar Gah" during an operation "to remove enemy forces from the north of the district."

"The death of this Royal Marine is a tragic loss and coming so close to Christmas, this is particularly poignant. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this dreadfully sad time," said Cmdr. Paula Rowe, Task Force Helmand spokeswoman.

An ISAF soldier was also killed on Wednesday in the eastern part of the country, where U.S. troops are operating.

The nationality of the trooper was not given since ISAF refrains from releasing such information before the home country does so.

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