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US troop deaths soared in Afghanistan in 2009

KABUL (AP) - This year has been a particularly deadly one for U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, double the 2008 toll.

An Associated Press tally shows 304 American service members had died as of Dec. 30, up from 151 in 2008. The count does not include eight U.S. civilians killed by a suicide bomber yesterday.

U.S. military officials acknowledge that the insurgency has the momentum and that as 30,000 U.S. reinforcements pour in, the death toll is likely to remain high for now.

Among other forces, Britain took the worst blow this year with 107 deaths and Canada lost 32.

In contrast, U.S. deaths in Iraq dropped by half as troops largely remained on bases and the United States prepares to withdraw by the end of 2011. There were 152 American service members killed in Iraq, down from 314 a year earlier.


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