Deadly October For U.S. In Afghanistan

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Eight American troops were killed Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month so far in the Afghan war. The deaths come a day after two helicopters crashed, killing more than a dozen Americans in the country.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.


And I'm Melissa Block in California.

This month is now the deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Today, eight Americans were killed there in two separate bomb attacks. The casualities come just a day after two deadly helicopter crashes. Today's incidents occurred in southern Afghanistan and NPR's Tom Bowman is in that part of the country. He joins us now. Tom, tell us please, what you've been able to find out about these bomb attacks today.

TOM BOWMAN: Well, Melissa, there were two separate bomb attacks in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, and not too far from the Ring Road. It's the main artery that skirts the entire country. In the first incident, there were a patrol of armored vehicles. One of the vehicles hit a roadside bomb, killing seven soldiers. The insurgents opened fire on the patrol, and the Americans returned fire, killing one of the insurgents. In the second incident, another soldier was killed inside his armored vehicle.

BLOCK: So, what all of that means that this becomes the deadliest month for U.S. casualties in the eight-year war there.

BOWMAN: That's right. October has been a horrible month for the American military, 55 have been killed, that's up from the previous high of 51 in August. Melissa, most of these have been killed by roadside bombs, that's the leading killer now in Afghanistan. And the American military has done quite a bit to try to do something about the roadside bombs. They've sent over larger armored vehicles, explosive ordinance disposal teams, and other technologies. But it just continues to be the number one killer. And as soon as they detect these bombs, find these bombs, the insurgents just plant more bombs again.

BLOCK: And Tom, when you were out on patrol with Marines there in southern Afghanistan a few days ago, you were talking with them about this problem and what they do about it.

BOWMAN: Yes. In the past few days, I've been going on patrols with the Marines and they've found a number of roadside bombs and they're continually on the lookout for them.

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