Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wire: 2 US Troops Killed in Afghanistan, July Deadliest Month of War

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2009 -- Newswire services reported that a bomb blast killed two U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, raising the American death toll in what already is the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the almost eight-year Afghan war.

Officials released no other details about the deaths, including the troops' military branch or where the attack occurred. Tech Sgt. Chuck Marsh confirmed that the two troops were American.

Southern Helmand province is the site of the largest U.S. Marine operation since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban regime. Some 4,000 Marines are taking part. They have met little resistance from Taliban fighters but have had to contend with dozens of roadside bombs hidden in the region's dirt roads, The Associated Press reported.

AP said July has been the deadliest month for U.S. and NATO forces. Wednesday's deaths raised the American toll to 34, surpassing the 28 who were killed in two months last summer.

The U.S. has close to 60,000 troops in Afghanistan, a record number. President Barack Obama has increased the U.S. focus on Afghanistan as American forces slowly withdraw from Iraq.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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