Wire: US, British Troops Killed, Wounded in Afghanistan Attacks
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that two international troops -- one American and one British -- were killed in separate clashes in Afghanistan, military officials said Friday.
The Associated Press reported that the American servicemember died when Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a patrol late Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said. Several other Americans were wounded, she added.
A British airman was killed Thursday when a bomb exploded alongside his patrol near Camp Bastion in southern Helmand province, the British Ministry of Defense announced.
The deaths were the first reported this month for the U.S.-led force, which has been locked in the heaviest fighting of the Afghan war. The Obama administration is debating whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan, whose government faces allegations of widespread fraud in the disputed Aug. 20 presidential election.At least 37 American servicemembers died in Afghanistan in September, compared with 51 in August, 44 in July and 24 in June, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press from official statements.
The September death toll for the overall international force, including Americans, stood at 65, compared with 73 in August, 75 in July and 34 in June.
At the same time, civilian deaths rose from 169 in August to 202 in September, according to AP figures compiled from police and other Afghan officials.
The reason for the decline in servicemember deaths was unclear, although major ground operations were launched against Taliban forces in July and August. No figures for wounded were available, AP said.
(Report from newswire sources.)