June proves deadly for NATO forces in Afghanistan as over 20 killed in first week (2)

08:06, June 09, 2010      

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The NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force also experienced bloody days on Sunday and Monday as five troopers were killed on Sunday while 10 others died on Monday in vehicle accident and Taliban-related activities, mostly in the southern region.

Meantime, the military alliance avoided disclosing the nationalities of the victims by saying, "It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedure to the relevant national authorities."

Troops mostly from the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Canada have been stationed in southern Afghanistan commonly known as the hotbed of Taliban militants.

So far this year 243 service members with NATO-led troops have been killed in Afghanistan with majority of them Americans, according to icasualties.org, a website tracking the casualties of the U.S. and NATO-led forces in the war-battered Afghanistan.

Twenty three service members of the alliance, according to the website, have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of June.

Data released by the website indicates sharp increase in the casualties of NATO-led forces this year in comparison with 2009.

According to icasualties.org, the casualties of NATO forces in Afghanistan from January to June 2009 had been registered 157 while so far this year it has totaled 243.

In the whole June 2009, the casualties of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan was recorded only 38 while in the first week of June 2010 the casualties of the troops soared to 23.

The around 130,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) with more than 68,000 of whom Americans have been stationed in the post-Taliban country to help stabilize security there.

The strength of the NATO-led troops in the militancy-ridden Afghanistan would reach to 150,000 by the end of year with the deployment of additional soldiers by the U.S. and allied nations in the coming months.

Upsurge in militancy would claim more lives of troopers in Afghanistan as both Taliban and NATO commanders have announced to intensify operations.

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