U.S. casualties in Afghanistan drop from summer highs

By Matt Millham
Stars and Stripes
Published: September 30, 2011
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — U.S. forces in Afghanistan suffered fewer combat fatalities in September than in the previous five months and fewer deaths than they had in September last year, according to an analysis of U.S. Defense Department figures.
In all, 31 U.S. servicemembers died in combat or as a result of injuries suffered in Afghanistan in September — the lowest total since March. Three deaths were attributed to “non-battle injuries,” according to the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, and are under investigation.
In addition, 10 troops from other NATO countries died in Afghanistan in September, according to ISAF figures.
The September decline is in line with a trend seen over the last four years in Afghanistan, according to statistics compiled by the independent web site iCasualties, which tracks coalition deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, this month’s decline was more pronounced than usual due to a bloody August that set a monthly record for U.S. casualties in Afghanistan. Much of the August spike was caused by the catastrophic helicopter crash that took the lives of 30 Americans.
A coalition spokesman said the crash and the insurgents’ inability to effectively take on coalition forces in battle were two reasons for the large drop-off this month.
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