Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two US-led soldiers killed in Afghan war

At least two US-led soldiers have been killed in the latest spate of attacks against foreign troops in southern Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says.

According to a statement released by the NATO-led alliance on Saturday, the soldiers lost their lives in separate bombings in volatile southern Afghanistan, bringing the death toll among foreign troops in the war-ravaged country since the beginning of this year to 36.

Five US-led soldiers with the international coalition have been killed so far in February.

The identities of the soldiers and the exact locations of Saturday's blasts were not immediately disclosed.

Last year saw a considerable spike in the number of attacks on US-led soldiers in Afghanistan with more than 710 troops killed.

US President Barack Obama has said US forces would begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July 2011.

On Jan 6, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered an extra 1,400 Marines to southern Afghanistan in an attempt to fend off an anticipated spring offensive by Taliban militants returning from neighboring Pakistan.

The surge comes despite an earlier promise by Obama to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan by July 2011.

The upsurge in the number of casualties among US-led foreign forces in tandem with the heavy civilian casualties have provoked a barrage criticism from countries which have contributed troops to the prolonged Afghan mission.

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