Kabul (AFP) May 17, 2010
Two hundred NATO soldiers have died during the war in Afghanistan so far this year, according to an AFP count based on the icasualties website and following the killing of two Italians on Monday.
The Italians were killed and two others wounded when a bomb hit a NATO military convoy in northwestern Afghanistan, Italy's foreign ministry said.
The four were in a vehicle that was struck by a roadside bomb, the weapon of choice of Taliban-led insurgents fighting the Western-backed Afghan government and around 130,000 US-led foreign troops in the country.
The attack was about 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) south of the town of Bala Murghab on the border with Turkmenistan, a spokesman for the Italian contingent in Afghanistan said in a television interview.
Italy has 3,300 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force and heads the western regional command headquartered in the city of Herat.
In southern Afghanistan, two NATO soldiers died Sunday -- one of injuries sustained from a bomb attack on May 14 and the second in an "insurgent attack".
The latest deaths brought to 200 the number of foreign troops to die this year during the Afghan war, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by the independent icasualties.org website.
A total of 520 died in 2009, which was the deadliest overall year so far for US-led NATO troops in the nine-year war in Afghanistan.
NATO and the United States are set to boost their overall number of troops in Afghanistan to 150,000 by August as part of a last-ditch strategy to reverse the Taliban momentum and allow American forces to start withdrawing next year.
earlier related report
By 2011, the police and army in Afghanistan are supposed to number a total 300,000, up from 200,000 now.
"We need more trainers. It's my top priority," James Stavridis, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said in a statement from the Defence Planning Committee of the world's biggest military alliance.
"We need about 5,200 people" in total, he said.
In a meeting with defense reporters he said that he needed "about 450" who had yet to be committed or sent.
In addition "there might be a few hundred more needed by early next year" on top of the 5,200, he said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
News From Across The Stans
Kurdish rebels in Iraq accuse Iran of artillery attack
Sulaimaniyah, Iraq (AFP) May 16, 2010
Iranian artillery bombarded parts of Kurdistan in northern Iraq where Kurdish rebels opposed to Tehran are said to be holed up, a local official said on Sunday. "From 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) Saturday until this morning, Iranians fired on the villages of Khanawa, Totma, Marado, Sourkan and Nalia Rach, causing extensive damage to agricultural land and losses of livestock," said Azad Oussou. The ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|