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U.S. Troop War Deaths Double in 2009

Monday, 28 December 2009 10:50 AM

KABUL — A bomb attack killed a US service member in Afghanistan, NATO said Sunday, doubling the number of American soldiers killed in the country this year compared with 2008, according to an AFP tally.

The NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the soldier died from an improvised explosive device (IED), the biggest killer of foreign troops in the eight-year battle to contain a Taliban insurgency.

"An ISAF service member from the United States died following an IED strike in southern Afghanistan Saturday," the force said in a statement.

The death takes the 2009 international military casualties in Afghanistan to 506, according to an AFP tally based on independent website icasualties.org which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Of those deaths, 310 have been Americans, according to the AFP tally. That figure compares with a total of 155 Americans given by icasualties for 2008.

This year has already proved the deadliest so far in the battle against the Taliban-led insurgency which followed the 2001 US-led invasion to oust the militia's extremist regime in Kabul.

The total number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan in 2008 was 295.

An influx of extra troops this year has escalated battles in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, the Taliban heartland. The number of deaths of both foreign troops and the Afghan forces they are leading has also risen.

The insurgents have supplemented battlefield tactics with roadside bombs, which have taken an enormous toll.

Experts say deaths will escalate further with the arrival of reinforcements -- 30,000 from the US and 6,800 from NATO allies -- over the course of 2010.

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Monday, 28 December 2009 10:50 AM
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