July is deadliest month of 2012 for US troops

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By The Associated Press, Associated Press

At least 1,961 U.S. service personnel have been killed in Afghanistan over the course of the 11-year war. Casualties rose steadily each year before reaching a peak in 2010 when 492 personnel were killed. There has been a slight decrease in casualties since then, with 398 killed in 2011, and at least 219 so far this year. Even with the downward trend in deaths, however, one U.S. soldier has been killed every day this year on average. July has been the deadliest month of 2012 for U.S. troops, with 40 killed as a result of war-related violence.

Casualties have jumped each year in the summer months, when warm weather makes it easier for insurgents to move around the mountainous country and carry out attacks. The three deadliest months of the war for U.S. troops have been in summer: August 2011, 71 deaths; July 2010, 65 deaths; June 2010, 60 deaths. During the winter, the Taliban and other insurgent groups have tended to bed down to wait out the cold.

In the past two years, there has also been a surge of insider attacks in which Afghans have turned their guns on their international counterparts. NATO says that 34 international service members have been killed in such inside attacks so far this year.

The U.S. started drawing down forces from a peak of nearly 103,000 last year and plans to have decreased to 68,000 troops in Afghanistan by October.

Yearly breakdown of U.S. deaths In Afghanistan since start of the war:

—2001: 3

—2002: 23

—2003: 30

—2004: 49

—2005: 93

—2006: 88

—2007: 110

—2008: 151

—2009: 305

—2010: 492

—2011: 398

—2012: 219

Monthly U.S. death tolls In Afghanistan since January 2010:

—August 2012: 26

—July 2012: 40

—June 2012: 27

—May 2012: 39

—April 2012: 34

—March 2012: 18

—February 2012: 10

—January 2012: 25

—December 2011: 15

—November 2011: 17

—October 2011: 28

—September 2011: 38

—August 2011: 71

—July 2011: 33

—June 2011: 46

—May 2011: 34

—April 2011: 46

—March 2011: 27

—February 2011: 19

—January 2011: 24

—December 2010: 33

—November 2010: 53

—October 2010: 49

—September 2010: 42

—August 2010: 55

—July 2010: 65

—June 2010: 60

—May 2010: 34

—April 2010: 19

—March 2010: 24

—February 2010: 28

—January 2010: 30

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These numbers are based on Department of Defense press releases and include only deaths that occurred from incidents in Afghanistan. Data includes military civilian deaths. It does not include deaths of service personnel from other countries in the U.S.-led coalition. Data is current as of Aug. 16, 2012.

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