Four American soldiers were killed by a roadside explosion in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, making July the deadliest month for American service members in the country since the 2001 invasion and underscoring the frightening rise in the sophistication and accuracy of roadside bombs, reports New York Times.
In the south, a British Tornado fighter jet crashed at a major NATO base. Both crew members escaped serious injury but it was the third aircraft incident in as many days as foreign forces press ahead with new offensives against the Taliban.
With military casualties rising, Afghanistan's growing insurgency is also taking a heavy toll on civilians. In the remote west, 12 Afghan traders were killed when their van hit a roadside bomb most likely meant for Afghan or foreign troops.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan issued a short statement late on Monday saying four of its soldiers had been killed by a roadside bomb, Reuters informs.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has faced stinging criticism from the main opposition party that his government is denying troops vital resources, after Britain suffered eight deaths within 24 hours in Afghanistan last week.
There are about 90,000 foreign troops, mainly US, British and Canadian, deployed in Afghanistan to help Kabul fight the Taliban insurgency, according to AFP.
One should expect a winter escalation of hostilities. We will definitely see it either in December or early next year. There is no reason for a break - only a small part of the mobilised has been deployed to the zone of the special operation yet