US soldier deaths in Afghanistan hit 300 this year

In-depth Report:

KABUL: An insurgent ambush killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday, bringing to 300 the number of American troops killed in the country so far this year.

The soldier serving in the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed when his patrol was attacked in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, said the military.

It was the first US death announced since President Barack Obama unveiled plans to pour 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, vowing to “seize the initiative” to end the unpopular war and start a pullout in July 2011.

Eastern and southern Afghanistan are the deadliest battlefields for the 113,000 US and NATO troops already deployed in the country, where the insurgency is at its deadliest since US-led troops overthrew the Taliban government in 2001.

The latest death pushed to 300 the number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year, according to a running tally by the website. This compares to 295 foreign deaths for all of 2008.

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