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Middle east

June deadliest month yet for foreign troops in Afghanistan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-29

Over 100 foreign soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in June, making it the deadliest month ever for the 140,000-strong international force in the country. NATO attributes the surge to a recent intensification of military operations.

AFP- Deaths of foreign soldiers in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban insurgency have hit the unprecedented toll of 100 for the month of June alone, according to an AFP tally Tuesday.
   
An announcement by the US Department of Defence of the death of an American soldier on June 24 in the strife-torn western province of Farah took the toll for the year to date to 320.
   
The toll for 2009 was 520.
   
AFP's figures are based on a tally kept by the independent icasualties.org website.
   
The Defence Department statement said a 20-year-old private had died on June 24 of "injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident" that was under investigation.
   
The US and NATO have 140,000 troops in Afghanistan attempting to quell an intensifying war in which Taliban insurgents are trying to overthrow the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.
   
NATO says the dramatic upswing in casualty numbers in June has been caused by the alliance stepping up military operations and taking the fight to the Taliban in areas where the Islamist militia has previously been unchallenged.
   
The rising casualties come as questions mount in the United States and Europe about military strategy in Afghanistan following last week's sacking of the top NATO commander, US General Stanley McChrystal.
   
The heavy toll can be largely attributed to the Taliban's use of homemade bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are cheap and easy to make and account for the majority of foreign troops deaths.
   
The UN reported this month that IED attacks had risen by 94 percent in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2009.

Date created : 2010-06-29

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