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Death toll rises as NATO expands operations in Afghanistan
July was officially the bloodiest month in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in November 2001.
It is estimated that so far this year at least 1,700 people have been killed in fighting across the country. The death toll is a result of operations by foreign troops—involving heavy air bombardment of villages mainly in the south—and attacks by insurgent guerrillas, armed drug barons and Taliban fighters.
The dead include an as-yet-unspecified number of Afghan civilians, several hundred insurgents, scores of Afghan police and troops and more than 70 foreign soldiers.
Despite the news media’s attempts to either ignore or bury reports from Afghanistan, on two days in mid-July the country suffered higher casualties than even Iraq and Lebanon. All indications from the first few days of this month are that the cycle of violence and destruction across Afghanistan is escalating.
As in Iraq, US-led coalition forces have refused to keep a body count of the dead since the 2001 invasion.