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'Insider' attack takes life of British soldier in Afghanistan

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 8:00 AM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
Map: Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province
Map: Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Six other ISAF soldiers are wounded, official says
  • The attack occurred on a patrol base in Helmand
  • The deceased soldier's family has been informed
  • More than 50 died last year in similar attacks

(CNN) -- A gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier killed a British service member Monday, when he opened fire on ISAF and Afghan soldiers, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

The "insider" attack occurred on a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. The victim was part of an engineer's regiment, MoD spokesman Tom Bennett said in a statement. Six other ISAF soldiers were wounded in the attack, another MoD spokesman said.

The term "insider" refers to strikes by Afghan National Army soldiers, police or by militants wearing their uniforms on members of NATO, with whom they are working together.

Read more: Baby's arrival surprises British base in Afghanistan

"Next of kin have been informed," Bennett said. The soldier's family has asked that no further details be released for 24 hours.

More than 50 people were killed in Afghanistan in similar attacks last year. The Afghan government calls the killings acts of terrorism.

Read more: NATO releases details of brazen raid on base in Afghanistan

Such attacks have triggered concerns about the stability of Afghan security forces ahead of planned NATO withdrawals in 2014.

In early October, an attack by an Afghan solider in Wardak province turned into an exchange of fire between U.S. and Afghan troops.

Read more: Britain's Cameron pays surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan

CNN's Alexander Felton contributed to this report.

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