October 14, 2010 / 5:37 AM / 7 years ago

Attacks kill 8 foreign troops in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - Eight foreign troops from NATO-led forces were killed in five separate insurgent attacks in Afghanistan on Thursday, NATO said, bringing to 14 the number of troops killed in the last two days.

Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest levels since the overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001, with rising casualties on all sides of the conflict. More than 2,000 foreign troops have died since then, over half in the last two years.

Three troops with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in the west of the country, ISAF said.

Four troops were killed in insurgent attacks and a bombing in the south, while an eighth service member was killed in the east in an attack by insurgents.

ISAF did not give any further details on the attacks or provide nationalities of those killed.

Six foreign troops were killed in three attacks in the east and south of the country on Wednesday.

At least 40 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan this month alone -- nearly three deaths a day. More than 585 troops have died this year compared to 521 for all of 2009.

June was the bloodiest month for foreign forces in Afghanistan with 103 deaths.

The rise in troop deaths is expected to weigh heavily on President Barack Obama and his administration ahead of a review of the war in Afghanistan in December.

Increasingly, Afghan and U.S. officials see a negotiated end to the war and President Hamid Karzai has reached out to insurgents.

Fighting has intensified in the south of the country since late September when Afghan and NATO forces launched an operation to clear Taliban insurgent strongholds in the militants’ heartland around Kandahar.

But the insurgency has extended its foothold to other parts of Afghanistan, including once more peaceful areas in the north.

There are nearly 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including 100,000 Americans. Obama ordered an extra 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan in December to try and quell the violence but plans to start withdrawing forces from the middle of 2011.

Reporting by Jonathon Burch and Patrick Markey; Editing by Myra MacDonald

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