4 US and 1 British troops killed in Afghanistan

Five US, British troops killed in Afghanistan

KABUL: Four US troops and a British soldier have been killed in Afghanistan, officials said Monday, the first reported fatalities of 2010 after a record number of foreign deaths in the conflict last year.

Four American soldiers serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) died in a roadside bomb blast in a southern Taliban hotspot on Sunday, the coalition said in a statement.

Their deaths follow the killing last week of seven American CIA agents in a suicide attack inside a military base and four Canadian soldiers and a journalist in a roadside bombing. Both attacks were claimed by the Taliban.

"Four ISAF service members from the United States died yesterday following an IED strike in southern Afghanistan," the ISAF statement said, referring to an improvised explosive device -- the Taliban weapon of choice.

An Afghan police official told AFP the soldiers were killed in Panjwayi district in Kandahar province, a flashpoint of Taliban unrest. A Taliban spokesman said the hardline militia was behind the attack.

A British soldier was killed in a similar bomb blast the same day in the neighbouring province of Helmand, the heartland of the Taliban-led insurgency and where most British troops are based.

The Ministry of Defence in London said the soldier died when an explosion hit a foot patrol in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand.

A total of 108 British service personnel died in Afghanistan last year, the bloodiest for the British military since the 1982 Falklands War.

In all, 522 foreign troops lost their lives in violence in Afghanistan in 2009, according to the independent icasualties.org website tracking the deaths.

The toll compares with 295 foreign troop deaths in 2008, while US casualties more than doubled to 319 last year from 155 in 2008.

Most troop deaths are caused by IEDs, home-made bombs used by the Taliban and other Islamist insurgents who are said to have little other capability to fight the well-armed NATO and Afghan troops.

The killing of the seven CIA agents in the bombing last Wednesday was one of the deadliest blows ever for the agency, which is increasingly on the frontline of US wars.

There are more than 110,000 international troops under both US and NATO command deployed in Afghanistan to curb an increasingly deadly insurgency being waged by the remnants of the Taliban.

Under Washington’s new war plan, troop numbers are due to increase to about 150,000 this year in a bid to turn around the costly and unpopular war.

Up to 40,000 more US and NATO troops are to arrive over the course of 2010, backed by thousands of civilians, as the war strategy turns from battleground tactics to development and aid.

Since being ousted from power, the remnants of the Taliban have regrouped in the form of an Islamist insurgency trying to topple the Western-sponsored government in Kabul and regain power.

The rebels have constantly rejected calls for reconciliation by President Hamid Karzai.

R.I.P. and condolences

" Yea though i walk through the shadow of the valley of death, i fear no evil"
Werewolf said:
RIP the fallen.

Condolances to family and friends.

New year, same bad sh1t. :evil:
Not the kind of beginning any of us had hoped for.

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