KABUL, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan considerably decreased in September in comparison with the previous month.
Twenty-seven ISAF soldiers lost their lives in September against 52 in August, the deadliest month for the coalition force since the beginning of this year, according to the iCasualties, a website tracking the casualties of foreign troops in the war-torn country.
A U.S. soldier and a civilian U.S. contractor were killed when an Afghan army soldier opened fire in a joint Afghan-coalition outpost in eastern Wardak province on Saturday, the latest in a series of the so-called "green-on-blue" attack when Afghan security forces or gunmen in their uniform fired on the coalition, the ISAF confirmed in a statement Sunday.
"An International Security Assistance Force service member and an ISAF civilian contractor died following a suspected insider attack in eastern Afghanistan yesterday," the ISAF said in the statement.
"It is also known that there were Afghan National Army (ANA) casualties," it said, adding "a joint ANA and ISAF assessment is underway."
The casualty brings the number of foreign soldiers killed in the green-on-blue attacks in September to nine, while up to 51 foreign soldiers were killed in about 33 green-on-blue attacks so far this year.
Four U.S. soldiers were killed when a local policeman opened fire on coalition troops in southern Zabul province on Sept. 16.
The latest insider attack occurred days after the U.S. and NATO troops resumed normal joint operations with Afghan security forces which have been scaled back in light of deadly insider attacks, the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced on Thursday.
Panetta told a Pentagon press conference that the U.S. side remains "fully committed to our strategy to transition to Afghan security control," but will "take whatever steps necessary to protect our forces."
The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the group, whose regime was ousted in a U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, launched an annual spring offensive on May 3 against Afghan and the NATO-led forces across the country.
Two U.S. soldiers were killed by a Taliban suicide bomber in eastern Logar province on Wednesday.
On Sept. 5, two U.S. service members with the ISAF were killed when their helicopter was shot down by Taliban also in Logar province.
As of Sept. 30, 345 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.
According to the U.S. President Barack Obama's withdrawal plan, the last of 33,000 additional U.S. troops had been withdrawn from Afghanistan this month, bringing the total number of foreign soldiers to 100,000 with nearly 68,000 of them Americans.
The ultimate goal is to transfer leading security responsibility to the Afghan forces by 2014.