KABUL (AFP) - NATO said Wednesday that one of its soldiers was killed in a bombing in southern Afghanistan and at least 20 insurgents killed in separate airstrikes. The latest death took to 531 the number of NATO-led troops killed in Taliban-linked violence so far this year, according to an AFP count based on the independent icasualties.org website. This years foreign military toll is the highest since the war began in 2001, when US-led troops toppled the Taliban from power for sheltering Al-Qaeda leaders wanted for the September 11 attacks. Last year, 521 foreign soldiers lost their lives in the war. About 150,000 NATO and US troops are operating in Afghanistan, tasked with implementing a counter-insurgency strategy designed to reverse Taliban momentum and allow American forces to start drawing down in 2011. In the eastern province of Khost, NATO said an air raid targeted Taliban who attacked one of its patrols, killing 14 on Tuesday. Initial operational reporting states there were no civilian casualties, said its International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Afghan General Mohammad Asrar said dozens of Taliban stormed the military base. The fighting lasted more than one hour. Afghan army responded to the attack. Twenty-seven enemy were eliminated, he said. ISAF said six Taliban were killed in a separate airstrike in the south. The force conducted a precision airstrike in southern Afghanistan Tuesday, killing six insurgents who had fired mortars on their position, it said. There was no independent confirmation of the insurgents death tolls.