U.S. troop deaths from improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan rose by 60 percent last year and injuries by more than 178 percent. The dramatic spike in casualties by improvised explosive devices resulted in 268 deaths and 3,360 injuries, The Washington Post reports
With the rise in troop levels and combat operations as a result of the surge, military officials expected the rise in IED injuries, which has occurred despite the deployment bomb-sniffing dogs, blimps with spy cameras, and mine clearing machines. More than 14,000 IEDs were planted last year, the Post said.
The head of the counter-IED programs for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Army Col. George Shuplinkov, said that in the last year “we stopped the momentum. We will know next spring. If it starts spiking back up in May or June, we'll have to reassess," he told the Post.
IED attacks have been on the rise in Afghanistan since 2005. The Pentagon is spending billions to combat them and have shipped 60 additional blimps to the area, upped the size of the canine corps by 35 percent, and raised the number of bomb-clearing teams to 75, the Post said.
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