partlycloudy
Saturday August 1st, 2015 7:52AM

4 US soldiers killed in south Afghanistan

By The Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, American and Afghan officials said. They were the latest casualties in a 12-year conflict that shows no signs of slowing down despite a drawdown in foreign forces.

The U.S.-led international military coalition says four of its service members were killed in the south, and a military official confirmed all were Americans killed by an ``improvised explosive device.''

Their deaths bring the toll among foreign forces to 132 this year, of which 102 are from the United States. At least 2,146 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. They are part of a total of nearly 3,390 coalition forces that have died during the conflict.

They were killed on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the Oct. 7, 2001 invasion, which led to an insurgency that shows no signs of abatement and a war that has become largely forgotten in the United States and among its coalition allies despite continued casualties suffered by their forces on the ground.

Javed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar, confirmed the four Americans were killed in the province by an IED. He had no further details.

NATO said in a statement that the four were killed during an operation in the south alongside Afghan troops, but did not provide any further details or their nationalities. The NATO official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

IEDs, which include remotely detonated roadside bombs and improvised landmines, are one of the top killers of Afghan and foreign soldiers as well as civilians.

The attack came as Afghan security forces take over the brunt of the fighting after the coalition handed over security responsibilities for the country earlier this summer. This year, an average of least 100 Afghan soldiers and police have died each week, while foreign forces have stepped back from direct fighting and moved into a train and assist role.

The insurgency has tried to take advantage of the withdrawal of foreign forces to regain territory around the country, especially in their eastern and southern strongholds.

The anniversary also coincides with the registration of candidates for next April's presidential elections, the first independent vote organized by Afghanistan without direct foreign assistance. By Sunday, the deadline for registration, at least a dozen people had submitted their candidacies for the top office.

The 2001 invasion targeted al-Qaida and its Taliban allies shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

Victory in Afghanistan seemed to come quickly. Kabul fell within weeks, and the hard-line Taliban regime was toppled with few U.S. casualties.

But former President George W. Bush's shift toward war with Iraq left the Western powers with reduced resources on the ground and allowed the Taliban to regroup. By 2006, the Taliban had turned into a serious military threat and President Barack Obama deployed more troops to Afghanistan, and casualties increased sharply.

But the American public grew weary of having its military in a perpetual state of conflict, especially after the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. That war, which began with a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein, cost the lives of nearly 4,500 U.S. troops, more than twice as many as have died in Afghanistan so far.

Obama first withdrew the 30,000 U.S. troops he sent to Afghanistan as part of a surge and has begun drawing down the rest, with all foreign combat forces to leave the country by the end of 2014. There are currently less than 100,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan, with about half from the United States. That number is expected to be halved by February, with U.S. numbers going down to about 31,000.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
GOP proposes protections for clergy on gay marriage
A top-ranking Republican leader wants to make clear that Georgia clergy can refuse to perform gay marriages, a protection they already enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.
By Associated Press
6:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Tax free weekend gives local shoppers more bang for their buck
As we prepare to send kids back to school after a summer of fun, parents can catch a little break during the annual sales tax exempt holiday.
5:39AM ( 2 hours ago )
Towns Co. man charged in domestic violence incident, standoff with police
Following an alleged incident of severe domestic violence and a brief standoff with Towns County authorities, a Hiawassee man has been arrested and now faces a long list of charges.
9:35PM ( 10 hours ago )
Agencies spend afternoon clearing wreck on Athens Hwy
Athens Highway was shut down at Gillsville Highway for most of the Friday afternoon rush hour following a traffic accident and ensuing fire.
4:39PM ( 15 hours ago )
Maysville man charged in Homer armed robbery
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Banks County Sheriff's Office charged a Maysville man in connection with Thursday's armed robbery at a Homer credit union.
4:31PM ( 15 hours ago )