US death toll in Afghanistan hits 2,000
The US military death toll in Afghanistan reached 2,000 on Saturday 30th September 2012, after an Afghan soldier shot dead two Americans and two fellow members of the Afghan army at a checkpoint in the Wardak province.
During what is suspected to have been an insider attack, the two Americans killed were a US soldier and a foreign contractor. While two Afghan soldiers died, a further four were injured in the attack.
Shahidullah Shahid, a provincial government spokesman, told the Associated Press that the incident occurred over a “misunderstanding” between Afghan and American soldiers. Civilians local to the area believe they were arguing over a house search.
The US death toll goes back to 2001 when the US led the invasion of Afghanistan.
The 2000-strong figure covers soldiers killed in action, those who died of their injuries in hospital, and 339 deaths from non-combat incidents.
A report by the Brooklings Institution found that over 17,644 soldiers from the US have been wounded in action in Afghanistan. Out of the death toll, the report estimated that 40.2% of the deaths were caused by explosive devices and 30.3% by shootings.
The Afghan people have been hit even harder with a civilian death toll estimated at being a minimum of 20,000. Although the figures are said to be unreliable, it is presumed 10,000 Afghan soldiers and security forces have also been killed during the conflict.
NATO combat troops are intending to withdraw by the end of 2014 but foreign soldiers will remain in the country to train Afghan troops and maintain peace. Yet with the recent rise in Afghans attacking foreign allies, critics say these predictions are unrealistic and violent instability in the country will perpetuate.