Afghan media: US-led death toll at 4,413
Afghanistan’s official state news agency says the US-led war in the country has claimed the lives of 4,413 foreign soldiers since the beginning of the invasion in 2001.
A report by Afghanistan’s Baakhtar News Agency also said on Friday that some 32,000 foreign soldiers have been wounded, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The tally is based on local reports and sources which have been tracking coalition casualties in the war-torn country.
This is while official reports from the US and NATO member countries have put the overall death toll at less than half the number reported by the news agency.
The report also said that American troops have been the main target of deadly attacks due to their massive presence in the country, adding that British soldiers hold the second spot.
In a separate incident, the bodies of at least 10 people, including several foreigners, were recovered in a dense forest in Badakhshan Province in northern Afghanistan.
The victims include six Americans, one German and one British national. The bodies of two Afghans were also found along with the group.
Police officials said the victims were foreign medics, who had been lined up and shot to death by unidentified gunmen.
A US Embassy spokeswoman confirmed the deaths, telling AFP in Kabul that “several” American citizens were believed to be among the victims.
“We have reason to believe that several American citizens are among the deceased…. (We) are actively working with local authorities and others to learn more about the identities and nationalities of these individuals,” the spokeswoman said.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the killings, saying the victims were Christian missionaries.
So far, 2010 has been the deadliest year for foreign forces present in Afghanistan.
Civilians have been the main victim of violence in Afghanistan, particularly in the country’s troubled southern and eastern provinces, where there is a strong chance of falling prey to both militant and foreign forces fire.
The increasing number of foreign casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the US and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the continuation of war.