Top story: Nine soldiers from the U.S.-led international coalition were killed in southern Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed, bringing the total number of casualties for NATO troops in Afghanistan to 529 this year. 521 soldiers were killed in the country last year, which had previously been the deadliest year for the coalition.
The helicopter crashed in Zabul province, and the Afghan government spokesman in the area said that the Taliban had taken credit for shooting down the aircraft. However, a statement from the NATO forces said that the cause of the crash was still under investigation, but that there had been no reports of hostile activity in the area.
According to icasualties.org, the international coalition in Afghanistan has suffered a steady increase in losses since the 2001 invasion. Though the coalition toppled the Taliban regime in 2001, it only suffered 12 casualties, all U.S. soldiers. By 2004, the insurgency was still relatively subdued, and the coalition only lost 60 soldiers. However, violence subsequently surged and the deaths of foreign troops have increased dramatically every following year.
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