Afghan war's deadliest month

2010-06-29 19:06

Kabul - A total of 100 foreign soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan have died in June, the deadliest month for Nato in nine years of conflict, intensifying concerns about the conduct of the war.

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, compared with 520 in all of 2009.

AFP's figures are based on a tally kept by the independent icasualties.org website.

A spokesperson for Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said 81 international troops had been killed in combat so far in June.

He said 12 troops had died of non-combat related causes. The remainder, who are not counted by ISAF, had died of injuries after returning home for treatment.

No Nato troops deaths were reported in Afghanistan on Monday, the spokesperson said, adding: "A rare good day for us this month."

The previous highest monthly toll was last August, at 77.

Sixteen people, including civilians and policemen, were also killed in separate attacks blamed on the Taliban over 24 hours, police said on Tuesday.

140 000 troops

Seven Taliban fighters were also killed after ambushing a police convoy in the western Farah province, police said.

The United States and Nato have 140 000 troops in Afghanistan, set to peak at 150 000 by August in an effort to quell the intensifying war against the hardline Islamist Taliban.

The military alliance also said on Tuesday that the search for an American serviceman kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan a year ago remains a "top priority" for US-led Nato forces.

Since Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, 24, went missing from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30 2009, the Taliban has issued three videos of him visibly shaken, pleading for the US government to win his release.

The sacking last week of US General Stanley McChrystal for insubordination has concentrated concerns about the progress being made in bringing the insurgency under control.

His replacement, US General David Petraeus - due to take up the post on July 4, according to military officials - arrives to enormous pressure as casualties rise and Western public opinion continues to turn against the war.

The head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, has also acknowledged "serious problems" with the Afghan war.

While much of the anti-Taliban effort is concentrated on the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar - the Taliban heartland - a major offensive is under way in the border region of Kunar province, according to Isaf.

Militia unchallenged

It said in a statement Sunday that more than 600 Isaf and Afghan troops were pursuing Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Kunar and that "a number of insurgents" had been killed.

Two US troops were also killed, Isaf said.

The Washington Post reported that up to 150 Taliban insurgents had been killed in battles along the Kunar border with Pakistan.

The US-led operation, which began on Sunday, was one of the largest yet in the region around Kunar province, said the newspaper, citing US officials as calling it "one of the most intense battles of the past year" in Afghanistan.

Nato has said the dramatic upswing in casualty numbers 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 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 United Nations reported this month that IED attacks had risen by 94% in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2009.

Read more on:    cia  |  taliban  |  nato  |  isaf  |  leon panetta  |  david petraeus  |  afghanistan

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to idealise and prepare for the future rather than face the present. Right now life is putting challenges in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.