October Deadliest Month for U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

55 deaths in October make it the deadliest month since the start of the war.

ByABC News
October 27, 2009, 12:29 PM

Oct. 27, 2009— -- The deaths today of eight more American troops in Afghanistan have made October the deadliest month ever for U.S. forces in what is already the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the war started in 2001.

The deaths of 55 American servicemen so far in the month of October have raised to more than 280 the number of U.S. servicemen killed this year in Afghanistan.

The eight U.S. troops were killed in separate bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan against Stryker Armored Vehicles that also killed one Afghan civilian. There were at least three Americans injured as a result of today's attacks.

Combined with the deaths Monday of 11 U.S. servicemen and three agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration in separate helicopter crashes, 22 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan in the past two days.

The Taliban had claimed responsibility for downing a Chinook MH-47 helicopter in western Afghanistan Monday, but Defense Department officials said today that there are no indications that any of the helicopter crashes yesterday were caused by hostile fire.

Violence levels against American and NATO troops spiked this summer following the arrival of 21,000 U.S. troops ordered as reinforcements by the Obama administration. There are now 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 32,000 NATO troops.

The year's previous monthly high was in August around the time of Afghanistan's presidential vote in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died. October's death toll is already higher than the number of U.S. fatalities in each of the years from 2001 to 2004.

Defense officials tell ABC News that today's fatalities occurred in two separate, but similar attacks on the Army's armored vehicles known as Strykers.

The most devastating attack occurred in northwest Kandahar province where seven troops died when a Stryker vehicle was blasted by a roadside bomb explosion that was followed by small arms fire. The military labels these types of attacks as complex because they involve more than one form of attack.

Today's other U.S. fatality occurred when another Stryker vehicle operating in Zabul province which is next to Kandahar province was struck by a roadside bomb.