2010 deadliest for NATO troops
Despite the increasing fatalities suffered by NATO service members, most of them Americans, NATO and US officials claim 'achievements' in Afghanistan during the year.
According to figures kept by monitoring website www.iCasualties.org, most of the casualties were among the US and British soldiers – 500 Americans, 102 Britons and 109 from other nations, members of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF).
Media office of NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) confirms the statistics and the increasing number of the casualties. They say the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan had also increased in 2010 and areas of their operations had widened.
Most of soldiers lost their lives in different incidents in Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunar provinces, the website said. In June, the monthly death toll hit triple digits for the first time as 103 allied troops were killed.
The number of Afghan civilian casualties in the war also jumped in 2010.
The United Nations reported that 5,480 civilians were killed or wounded in the first 10 months of the year.
Another deadliest month for international troops was July when about 88 soldiers lost their lives. About 79 foreigners were killed in August.
Since 2001, 1,310 US, 347 British and 154 Canadian soldiers have been killed, the website announced.
At least 660 foreign soldiers were killed in southern Helmand province, home to insurgents and the most dangerous region in the war-ravaged country. The neighbouring Kandahar is second in the death toll. About 335 alliance soldiers have been killed in Kandahar, 146 in Kunar, 124 in Kabul and 113 in the southeastern Paktika province over the last nine years, the statistics show.
Badakhshan, Daikundi, Sar-i-Pul and Samangan are the provinces where no foreign soldier has been killed so far.
ISAF media centre and the website did not figure out the exact number of the wounded foreigners in 2010. But the overall number of the international service members who have been wounded since 2001 stood at 9,256, according to www.icasualties.org.
The ISAF media centre had announced that operations by international forces have been successful in some areas.
Pointing to the recapture of some areas from the Taliban fighters in southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces, NATO officials say several insurgent hideouts from where they attacked the alliance soldiers had been destroyed.
Particularly, Zherai, Marja and Pajwai districts of Kandahar and Helmand were secured from insurgents as a result of operations, they say.
A political analyst linked the increasing of casualties among foreign troops to different reasons.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, writer Qazi Muhammad Hassan Haqyar said foreigners had lost their morale and the cooperation among them had decreased. On the other hand, the Taliban have got sophisticated weapons and they were becoming stronger, he believed.
On death of 500 US soldiers, Haqyar said US-NATO forces' cooperation had weakened what he said was the major reason behind the increasing casualties.
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