Twice as many U.S. soldiers have perished in Afghanistan in 2009 as compared with the year before. The announcement was made by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) following the death on Saturday of a soldier in the south of the country.

In its press release, ISAF stated that "a U.S. soldier was killed in the explosion of a roadside bomb in the south of Afghanistan".

Southern Afghanistan, which encompasses the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, is the bastion of insurgent Taliban forces.

According to a specialized AFP-associated website, the latest casualty raises to 508 the number of military fatalities in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year, of which 311 originated from the United States.

In 2008, the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the Afghanistan war theater was 155, out of a total of 295.