The deadliest month for NATO in nine years of conflict

Soldiers of 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles return fire during a contact with insurgents in Helmland, June 26, 2010.

From AFP: An Afghan UN employee was killed when his vehicle came under fire in Kabul Tuesday, as the toll for foreign troops rose to 100 in June, the deadliest month for NATO in nine years of conflict.

A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said 81 international troops had been killed in combat so far in June while 12 had died of non-combat related causes.

The remainder, who are not counted by ISAF, had died of injuries after returning home for treatment.

No NATO troops deaths were reported in Afghanistan on Monday, the spokesman said, adding: "A rare good day for us this month."

The previous highest monthly toll was last August, at 77.

The United States and NATO have 140,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to peak at 150,000 by August in a major push to quash the hardline Islamist Taliban. …

NATO has said the dramatic upswing in casualty numbers has been caused by the alliance stepping up military operations and taking the fight to the Taliban in areas where the Islamist militia has previously been unchallenged.

Homemade bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), account for the majority of foreign troops deaths.  (photo: Getty)

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