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Eight more US troops killed in Afghan attacks

28 October, 2009

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KABUL: Bomb attacks killed another eight American soldiers on Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month for US forces in their eight-year war against the Taliban.

The latest attacks, which were claimed by the Taliban, came the day after 14 US soldiers died in helicopter crashes, piling pressure on US President Barack Obama as he mulls sending tens of thousands more troops.

Seven of the soldiers were killed, along with an Afghan civilian, in one attack in the south of the country, said Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The eighth died in a separate attack in another part of the south, said ISAF without giving further details about the locations.

The deaths occurred in what a statement referred to as “multiple complex IED attacks,” referring to improvised explosive devices that have become the scourge of troops fighting a resurgent Taliban. “Additionally, several service members were wounded in these incidents and were transported to a regional medical facility for treatment,” it added. A Pentagon official confirmed the deaths made October the deadliest month for American forces since the war began in 2001.

The deaths brought the number of Americans killed to at least 53 for the month, compared with 51 killed in August, the next deadliest month for the US. Tuesday’s deaths bring the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year to 445, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by the independent website icasualties.org. Of those, 277 are Americans.

In a separate statement, ISAF said it had recovered the remains of three civilian crew members and the wreckage of a plane that went down in rugged terrain in Nuristan province on October 13.

The Army C-12 Huron failed to return to Bagram airfield, near Kabul, after a routine mission, it said. “Upon visible inspection of the site, the mission changed from search and rescue to search and recovery,” it said, adding that the cause of the crash was still being investigated but “hostile action is not believed to be the cause.”

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