8 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan
The U.S. military suffered another day of heavy losses in Afghanistan on Tuesday as roadside bombs killed eight U.S. service members, the U.S. military said, CNN reported.
An Afghan civilian working with NATO troops also was killed in the attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said.
The military gave no further details about the bombings, which it said also wounded several other service members.
The attacks happened a day after 14 Americans were killed in a pair of helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in more than four years.
With the deaths of two troops on Sunday, a total of 24 Americans -- most of them military -- have been killed in a 48-hour period. That makes October 2009, with 58 fatalities, the deadliest month for the U.S. military since the Afghanistan war began in October 2001.
Enemy action was not thought to be the cause of either of Monday's helicopter crashes. Three Drug Enforcement Administration special agents and seven U.S. troops were killed in one crash in western Afghanistan as they returned from a raid on a compound believed to be harboring insurgents tied to drug trafficking.
The other crash, in which two helicopters collided over southern Afghanistan, killed four Marines.
But it is roadside bombs -- commonly referred to as IEDs, short for improvised explosive devices -- that have caused the majority of U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan in recent months.
Such attacks have been on a steady rise since February, and account for 70 percent of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan this year, according to U.S. military statistics.
"That's the number one threat," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in July about IEDs in Afghanistan. Eighty-two deadly attacks occurred in June -- almost double the number from May -- and 105 in July, according to the latest U.S. military statistics.
Maj. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan, said he has noticed an "increasing sophistication" in the types of IEDs used.
"We're seeing some of the tactics, techniques and procedures that were used in Iraq, and [were] common there, migrate, obviously, here," Scaparrotti said in a recent briefing on operations in his area of command.