Wednesday, June 20, 2012

11-year war in Afghanistan kills 2,000 US citizens




WASHINGTON
- The US death toll in the nearly 11-year war in Afghanistan surpassed the 2,000 mark with the death of a corporal marine in clashes with the Taliban, the Pentagon announced on Thursday (6/14/2012).
Independent siteicasualties.org, which records victims' reports of the Eternal Freedom Operation launched in October 2001, citing the number of US deaths 2008.
Of the 2,000 announced by the Pentagon, 1,577 people were killed in the fighting and 34 of them were women. Around 16,402 soldiers were also injured. More than 150 US soldiers have been killed since the beginning of this year. The last victim was the corporal marines who died on Wednesday (06/13/2012).
US forces suffered the biggest loss in 2010, when 499 soldiers were killed. In 2011, US soldiers killed in Afghanistan reached 414.
More than 90,000 US troops are still stationed in Afghanistan, and the number is scheduled to decrease to 68,000 in the coming months, as part of the withdrawal ordered by President Barack Obama.
US forces fought along with around 40,000 soldiers in an international coalition under NATO command. At least 1,039 NATO soldiers were also killed in Afghanistan, including 418 British soldiers and 87 French.
President Hamid Karzai and Western supporters have agreed that all foreign combat forces will return to their country by the end of 2014, but the West has pledged to provide support that continued after that time in the form of funds and training for Afghan security forces.
In October, the Taliban promised to fight until all foreign forces left Afghanistan. Insurgents have stepped up attacks on security forces and also killings of politicians, including those that killed Ahmed Wali Karzai, the younger brother of President Hamid Karzai, in Kandahar in July and peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul in September.
The conflict escalated in Afghanistan with the number of civilian and military deaths reaching its highest level last year when Taliban-fueled violence spread from traditional areas in the south and east to the previously stable and northern regions.
The number of civilians killed has increased steadily in the past five years, and in 2011 the number of civilian deaths reached 3,021, according to UN data.
A total of 711 foreign soldiers were killed in the war in Afghanistan in 2010, which made that period the deadliest year for foreign forces, according to an AFP count based onicasualties.org.
The number of civilian deaths also increased, and the Afghan Interior Ministry announced that 2,043 civilians were killed in 2010 due to Taliban attacks and military operations aimed at militants.
The Taliban, who have ruled Afghanistan since 1996, have waged a rebellion since being ousted from power in the country by a US-led invasion in 2001 for refusing to hand Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, accused of being responsible for attacks on American territory which killed around 3,000 on September 11 2001.
About 130,000 NATO-led International Security Assistance (ISAF) personnel from dozens of countries are in Afghanistan to help the Kabul government fight the Taliban and its allies.
About 521 foreign soldiers were killed throughout 2009, which made the year a deadly year for international forces since the US-led invasion in 2001 and plunged Western public support for the war.
Taliban insurgents are heavily dependent on the use of roadside bombs and suicide attacks against the Afghan government and foreign forces stationed in the country. Assembled bombs resulted in 70-80 percent of casualties on foreign forces in Afghanistan, according to the military.

IWD/The Truth Seeker Media

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