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US service member killed in southern Afghanistan

AP

August 24, 2009

KABUL Ś An American service member was killed in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Monday.

The fatality Sunday was the 37th death of a member of the U.S. military in the Central Asian country since the beginning of August, a month that has seen a jump in attacks and violence as Afghanistan readied for its second-ever direct presidential election on Thursday.

A military statement said the service member died Sunday, and provided no further details.

U.S. commanders had predicted a bloody summer after President Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan in a bid to turn the tide against a resurgent Taliban and shift the focus on the global war against Islamic extremism from Iraq.

July was the deadliest month for American forces in Afghanistan since the beginning of the conflict, with 44 dead.

With the difficult security situation in Afghanistan appearing increasingly difficult, many are suggesting that commanders may request thousands more troops.

On Sunday, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the situation in Afghanistan as "serious and deteriorating," but refused to say whether additional forces would be needed.

"Afghanistan is very vulnerable in terms of (the) Taliban and extremists taking over again, and I don't think that threat's going to go away," he said on CNN's State of the Union.





:: Article nr. 57272 sent on 24-aug-2009 09:25 ECT

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