Wire: 3 US Troops Killed in Afghanistan
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2009 -- Newswire services today reported that three U.S. troops were killed Saturday when roadside bombs ripped through their patrol in southern Afghanistan, while a French soldier died in a gunbattle north of the capital, officials said.
The Associated Press reported that the American servicemembers were killed in the southern Kandahar province, said Navy Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo. He gave no further details on the blasts, pending notification of the victims' families.
AP said roadside bombs have become the militants' weapon of choice in Afghanistan, and the number of such attacks has spiked this year, as thousands of additional American forces have joined the fight. President Barack Obama has ordered 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and expects the total number of U.S. forces here to reach 68,000 by year's end.
Deaths among U.S. and other NATO troops have also soared this year. With 74 foreign troops killed -- including 43 Americans -- July was the deadliest month for international forces since the start of the war in 2001.
Recently, President Barack Obama said "victory" in Afghanistan country isn't the United States' goal.
In a factually incorrect comparison, Obama told ABC News, "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur."
There are currently 62,000 U.S. troops and 39,000 allied forced in Afghanistan, on top of about 175,000 Afghan soldiers and police. Some NATO countries plan to withdraw their troops in the next couple of years, even as the U.S. ramps up its presence, AP noted.
(Report from newswire sources.)
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