NATO death toll hits 200 in Afghanistan
At least 200 NATO soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the start of 2010 as the Taliban escalate their attacks against the US-led forces in the country.
The figures are based on the independent icasualties website that tracks NATO military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The figure is a significant rise compared with the same period last year, when 119 NATO soldiers lost their lives.
Overall, a total of 520 foreign troops died in 2009, making it the deadliest year for NATO forces since the start of the US-led invasion nine years ago.
In Afghanistan’s latest fatal incident, two Italian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded after a roadside bomb hit their convoy in western Herat Province.
The US and its western allies plan to increase the number of their troops stationed in the war-weary country to 150,000.
The 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan was launched with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the country. Nine years on, however, Afghanistan remains unstable and people continue to pay the price.