US death toll in Afghanistan surges past 2,000

AFP , Thursday 14 Jun 2012

The Pentagon says that the death toll of the US troops in Afghanistan has exceeded 2000 since the invasion of the domestically-turbulent state in 2001; yet, the rate is much higher in Iraq

Obama & Karzai
President Barack Obama, right, during his meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, at the NATO Summit in Chicago, Sunday, May 20, 2012. (Photo: AP)

The American death toll in the almost 11-year war in Afghanistan has surpassed 2,000 with the death of a Marine corporal killed in fighting with the Taliban, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The independent Internet site, which compiles figures from Operation Enduring Freedom launched in October 2001, put the US toll at 2,008.

Of the 2,000 deaths recorded by the Pentagon, 1,577 were killed in combat and 34 were women. Some 16,402 troops also have been wounded.

More than 150 American soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the year. The latest death was the Marine corporal killed on Wednesday.

US forces recorded their highest losses in 2010 when 499 died, compared with 414 in 2011.

More than 90,000 US troops are still deployed in Afghanistan, with the numbers set to fall to 68,000 in the next couple of months as part of the withdrawal ordered by President Barack Obama.

The American forces are fighting alongside some 40,000 troops from the international coalition in the NATO-led operation. At least 1,039 NATO soldiers have also been killed in Afghanistan, including 418 Britons and 87 French.

NATO is set to hand over security in Afghanistan to the 352,000-strong Afghan forces by mid-2013 and will play a support role up to the final withdrawal by the end of 2014.

The US losses in Iraq are far higher than in Afghanistan. Some 4,475 American troops were killed in Iraq and 32,228 wounded between 2003 and 2010, according to Pentagon figures.

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