Kabul: Sixty-six US troops have died in
Afghanistan so far this month, making August the deadliest
month for American forces in the nearly decade-long war.
Nearly half of the troops killed died on Aug 6 when the
Taliban shot down a `Chinook` helicopter in eastern
Afghanistan. That was the single deadliest event of the war
and sent the monthly total soaring, according to a tally.
The 30 American service members most of them elite Navy
SEAL`s were aboard the helicopter as it flew in to help Army
Rangers who had come under fire. Most of the SEALs who died
were from the same unit that killed bin Laden, although none
of the men took part in that mission.
Aside from the 30 killed in the crash in Wardak province,
southwest of Kabul, 23 died this month in Kandahar and Helmand
provinces in southern Afghanistan, the main focus of Afghan
and US-led coalition forces. The remaining 13 were killed in
The deadliest month for American forces until now was
July 2010 when 65 were killed.
The US military recorded its worst monthly death toll at
the same time that troops have begun going home.
President Barack Obama announced in June that he would
begin pulling out the 33,000 extra troops he dispatched to the
war. He ordered 10,000 out this year and another 23,000
withdrawn by the summer of 2012.
In addition to the 66 Americans killed so far this month,
the NATO coalition suffered the loss of two British, four
French, one New Zealander, one Australian, one Polish and four
other troops, whose nationalities have not yet been disclosed.
So far this year, 402 international service members,
including 299 Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan.