A clash Friday in southern Afghanistan killed one British soldier and seriously wounded another, officials said. One insurgent also died.

Insurgents attacked the soldiers in the southern province of Helmand at 4 p.m. (1130 GMT), a NATO statement said. The NATO forces returned fire and killed one insurgent.

The British Ministry of Defense identified the dead soldier as a Briton, and said a second soldier was seriously injured in the attack and evacuated to a medical facility for treatment.

The ministry said it was informing the soldiers' families and would not release further details, including the soldiers' names, until it had done so.

Britain has nearly 4,000 troops deployed in Helmand, which has seen the worst of the fighting in the biggest upsurge in violence in Afghanistan in nearly five years since the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime.

CountryWatch: Afghanistan