Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wire Update: 5 US Troops Killed in Afghanistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2009 -- Newswire services this afternoon reported that roadside bombs killed five U.S. troops within 24 hours -- in the same western Afghanistan province -- the American military said today.

The deaths bring to 11 the number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far in August, on the heels of what was the worst month for Western and U.S. troop fatalities since the conflict began in 2001. Forty-three American servicemen died in July, The Los Angeles Times reported.

In addition to the troop fatalities, a total of 26 Afghans, most of them members of a wedding party, were reported killed in roadside bombings today.

The American deaths occurred in Farah province, bordering Iran, where a force consisting mainly of U.S. Marines staffs a string of small forward operating bases set deep in the desert. They are connected by a route that American forces have been struggling for months to keep free of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which have made road travel extremely dangerous for villagers and military convoys alike, the LA Times said.

One of the fatalities took place Wednesday, and the other four, identified earlier by NATO sources as U.S. Marines, in a single incident, came today, the U.S. military said. Such "clusters" of fatalities are becoming less uncommon; three American soldiers were killed over the weekend in a single roadside bombing in the south.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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