Oct. 3rd, 2009
KABUL – Three American troops were killed by attacks in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Saturday, adding to the toll as the Obama administration debates its strategy in the troubled eight-year war.
Two of the Americans were killed Friday in a firefight with militants in Wardak, an eastern province bordering Kabul. The third service member died Friday of wounds from a bomb attack in Wardak the day before. The newly reported deaths came the same day as a suicide attack on a U.S. convoy in the south killed two Americans.
U.S. and NATO deaths dropped in September over the previous two months — possibly due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan or because no major offensives were launched. But since President Barack Obama's decision to send 21,000 more troops to curb the growing Taliban-led insurgency, international and civilian tolls have risen steadily.
In far western Afghanistan, a Taliban attack Saturday on a NATO supply convoy killed a civilian contractor escorting the trucks, said Raouf Ahmadi, a regional police spokesman.
U.S. forces mounted major operations in July and August in southern Afghanistan to try to dislodge the Taliban from longtime strongholds and improve security ahead of the Aug. 20 presidential election, the outcome of which remains in doubt because of allegations of massive fraud by supporters of President Hamid Karzai.